Poet’s Corner: Give Me Your Tired, Full Weight

Here is the latest installment of Poet’s Corner, presented by the Edmonds-based EPIC Poetry Group.

Give Me Your Tired

We knew the words but we did not
know what they meant. We wrote them
down, tore them off sheets, let them flutter
out the windows of our speeding cars.
In the heat, smoke and faulty
isolation, each piece of the
world breaking off like a tooth
long infected, you were framed
perfectly in the rearview mirror.

We had many, many opinions. This
did not change as summer wore
on, sweltered behind our masks.
We were held, suspended, plaster
falling off the wire frames of us while
some of us could not breathe.

Someday, when you open this, you
should also know how the rain and sun
came in perfect measure, grew lilies
so large they could swallow us
whole, how we laughed like there
was no tomorrow.

Carol Tiebout

~ ~ ~ ~

Full Weight

The oxygen tanks
have disappeared. Caretakers
gone, I stand on my own leaning

against the kitchen counter like some dogs
have leaned against me, full weight
needing to be met, watch the toast as it slides

off the rack, lands on the small blue
plate, feel the breath of my grandmothers,
mouths pulled back, waxing lips blowing

warmth. Forever we have talked in the code
of dishes, spoon, lemon rinds, chanting
the delivery of herbs on tongue or meat to cell

walls. In the center heart of repetition:
this leaf, this bowl, this crescent
moon hovering above the sink.

Carol Tiebout

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Carol Tiebout lives in Edmonds on the traditional land of the Coastal Salish peoples. Her work can be found in New Ohio Review, in Calyx Journal of Art and Literature, on The American Jewish Historical Society Website and on the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition website as the 2022 poetry competition winner. Her poetry is informed by 17 years of work in hospice and a deep concern for the Earth and the future generations of all her inhabitants.


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