Bio Note: I am an East Coast transplant, living in Wisconsin for the past 12 years with my husband and our two sons. As an ocean person, I am thankful to at least be living in an area surrounded by lakes, especially during these pandemic times, when being in nature is truly a healing balm. I am the author of 8 poetry collections, including Beauty in the Broken Places (Kelsay Books, 2019), and I was the founding editor of Blue Heron Review (2013-2020).
We Stitch Ourselves Together
You conjure with your hands the knitting together of days, finding comfort in simple tasks. Small strands of hope have replaced every familiar note on the piano. We mourn the loss of normal. We find new names for things. We rebirth ourselves as if planting trees. Digging deep with unsure feet, beckoning growth, we find solace in building a new forest together. Our hands look different, more vulnerable. Our fingers sift days like flour. We move more slowly, breathing through cloth and appreciating oxygen like never before. We stitch ourselves together every morning with threads of resilience.
Originally published in publication
for Frida Kahlo
Transcending pain— allowing limbs to travel in another dimension, the sweet, doleful breath of sleep. I can only wonder what my wellness looks like in another world. Moving freely, beauty informs my every step. My artwork sings joyfully— no documentaries of my tired, woman’s form. I live inside the layers of color on canvas. Trepidation only comes when there is no easel or brush. I live. I live. I live. My eyes look out from orange and red campfires. A beaded necklace frames vision, the landscape of my story. Walls covered with passion and history— streaked with more than the heart reveals. I share with you my secret, like an unfurled flower in morning. Unfold yourself. Offer up your broken pieces and be healed.
Originally published in Still Life Stories, Kelsay Books, 2016
Thoughts are bones, long femurs waking us home to the self. Our mouths speak smoke signals. We call out to the universe in earnest. Raindrops fall, tapping us awake. We enter the space of awareness. Words shared are medicine— salve, balm, and bandage. Each vowel rises to the ceiling, then falls. Our minds are porous, drinking in every last nuance. What was once a dream of how life could be becomes embedded in the skin. It sings songs of acceptance. Together, we wonder at our very existence, dancing with our truest, naked selves. We are not alone.
©2020 Cristina M. R. Norcross
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell him or her. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is the beginning of community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL