I know these words are somewhere
down inside me.
Some I held as a child.
Sisters spoke in endless streams
to flood a river.
No room to pour out, no echo to rattle in their ears.
Locked up for years.
My mouth felt like the arroya split.
Until we met near the December pines.
You pushed me out into that frozen lake.
My mouth filled up in frost.
When I spoke, my words emerged slowly, like icy swirling ghosts.
You were the miracles in those days.
The founder of my blue heart.
The day you left Vincent,
was the day I lost my voice again.
I long for my rattle,
To speak endlessly, while you smile back at me.
Photograph: Talking to Vince, Francesca Woodman
Poem: Naomi Ruth Waldschmidt