I am a vase, I am full of worry
lines, cracks
right down the middle, spread like veins
down one side.
I am ceramic,
I am broken, I have been
I am mended, I am mending
myself again.

I read that in Japan they paint
these cracks golden
to show that objects are all the more beautiful

for having been
broken (and god, do I love that,
though there is no one here to paint my scars pretty).

and I am holding
all of this inside me,
even as I bust at the seams.
I shelter these tender
stems, petals dropping over the edge,
doing my best to keep everything together.
I am a thing of beauty, a thing of courage.
tell me that I am a vase
and I will answer back
still, even so, don’t think
I am hollow. 


this morning I crack an egg, I think about all the little tragedies that happen every day, all the things I keep from my children, news stories, the snippets on the radio that have me cringing, not even the big stuff but the small horrors we’ve grown accustomed to. every moment there are a million broken hearts.

and I think about the ways we break open and fall out of happiness how years and years later, after we think we’re all healed up, sewed shut, all better, we will shake and shimmy right out of ourselves, spread free like a scream, shocking wet tears, snatched at the throat, captured.

this morning I woke up, bleeding red on my white bed, ache of shedding strung low in my back, and suddenly I want to fall onto my knees and howl, grieving over all the things that were taken from me, all the hopes I gave away.

this morning I crack an egg. and I think about how experiencing closure
doesn’t mean that one day we won’t break open once again.


flowers can’t do much.
even I, an anthophile,
know this.

and today, I am helpless.
today, I cry as I watch the news.
today I press
my children to my softness,
say be kind,
say love.

I think,
I. Don’t. Know. What. To. Do.
and in this way
I feel small.

my hands may as well be flowers,
the way I cup my children’s faces,
the way I cradle
their soft hearts to mine,
feeling like I am nothing, I have
nothing save for these hands,
this voice, these words.

I say, you are my whole garden,
say I love you,
say open your eyes,
say be kind,
we are all of us crying for rain.

I say love,
and in this way, I suppose I forgive
the helplessness of my hands,
this voice.
these words.

I say love, and they are

ABOUT AMANDA LINSMEIER:  I am the author of Like Waves: Poetry (2017) and Our Wild Magic (2018). My poetry has been featured here in Kingdoms in the Wild, as well as Feminine Collective, Mothers Always Write, and Literary Mama. Other work has been featured in Brain, Child Magazine, Portage Magazine, and The Muffin. When I’m not writing my own magical stories or reading, I work part-time at my local library and bring home more books than I have time to read, but I see this as a really great problem. I am the mother of three small children, and I’m teaching them all the time to believe in magic.


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