an august sun

i was born with the late afternoon of an early august sun
a waxing sagittarius moon was high and day blind in the cloud-blue sky
i was born a seeker
in a sterile hospital, beside a shallow river
that drifts and wades with tall grasses and state lines, even now
an entire country and most of what interests me lies west of westerly
i was born an island
by the grace of god and the hands of a man named louis lapere
a beloved MD with kind, wire-rimmed eyes and a hitler’s mustache,
he ushered 9,000 of us in,
in that same hospital where he too had once been born
i was born on a sunday
to parents who could not care for me
who weren’t young or careless, just retarded and handicapped
i was born in the summer of 1981
later i would arrive home
to the 3rd floor apartment of the house at 1 cannon square
whose windows hold sandy’s point and stonington harbor in their view
no one knows how long she was gone
only that she went out on an errand, without me
and that when she came back the crib was high and that august sun,
still hot.

this poem is inspired by poet, bhanu kapil and a deeply moving poem she wrote in her extraordinary book, ‘how to wash a heart’ . my writing teacher katharine kaufman shared kapil’s work with our class recently & encouraged the ‘i was born..’ writing prompt. gifted this prompt a week before my forty-first birthday felt serendipitous and a bit magical, i delighted at the opportunity! the artwork is a pencil and ink sketch of the exterior of the 3rd floor apartment in cannon square and i drew it to accompany my words & hopefully give the reader a bit more of the feel of things.

One response to “an august sun”

  1. 😍
    Happy birthday!


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