T h i s t l e
Hard work, love that endures hardship, defiance, protection
I never saw my mama’s feet sleeping.
Mornings they trod a triangular path:
garden, fire, table.
Mid-day she walked in circles sewing,
mending our dresses as we read our lessons.
As the sun set she strode through the fields,
barefoot among the thistles to bring the cows in.
When the stars made pinpricks
in the black ocean above, her heels creaked
a half-moon of floorboards around our big bed.
I dreamt every night of fragrant weeds and grasses,
knew that when I woke
the footsteps below would always be hers.