Saturday, 2 December 2017

Ancestor Grounds             

by Julene Tripp Weaver


In the blue room my ancestors held my fate, their genome
that made me—born to this world soft, gullible, screaming
at the top of my lungs in the face of air—blue veins run
wild, a river coursing its path under a wooden covered
bridge—the dream of good old, what life 
was once, never would again. 

Here in the blue blood room of my ancestors: a sitting room 
with King of England furniture: an organ, royal for a church, 
but our heritage in disarray—no one plays the beacon 
in the parlor corner. Dark and quiet, curtains drawn, a space
I go to dream, for peace, to sort Great Grandma’s antique
cards, stored in a cast iron pot.

I idle hours, safe and quiet, far from the yellow kitchen,
the ongoing upgrades Grandma refuses. Still they install 
a refrigerator, indoor plumbing, paint the tin ceiling 
half a dozen times in summers that come and go,
make it new—give it a good coat—tin squares embossed,
classic retro redone to a drop down

ceiling, tin belittled. We move fast and far from our regal
bloodline, from Grandmother and her stories. After she passed
clearing the kitchen, now a habitat for mice, their skeletons
pour from a smooth walled urn in the back pantry, my scream 
loud as the day I arrived, holding the blue inside
                            demanding my heritage.


* * * * *

Julene Tripp Weaver is a psychotherapist in Seattle; she worked in AIDS services for over 21 years. She has three poetry books, Truth Be Bold—Serenading Life & Death in the Age of AIDS (Finishing Line Press, 2017), No Father Can Save Her (Plain View Press, 2011), and Case Walking: An AIDS Case Manager Wails Her Blues (Finishing Line Press, 2007). She is widely published in journals and anthologies. Her poems can be found online at: Anti-Heroin ChicRiverbabbleRiver & South Review, The Seattle Review of Books, HIV Here & Now; a creative nonfiction piece is published by Yellow Chair Press, In The Words of Women International 2016 Anthology. Find more of her writing at www.julenetrippweaver.com.