Poetry Shadow of a palm frond against a light colored wall

Published on June 9th, 2022 | by Jamie Asaye FitzGerald


In Search of Sense

after Buffalo, NY; Uvalde, TX; and so many others

Thank goodness for the sunlight
shining through one side of the palm leaf.
Thank goodness for the other side
cast in shadow.
Thank goodness for the little brown birds,
black phoebes, and mourning doves
who still populate the trees
and bushes, making a chatter,
a chirp and a song.
Because the news has reached us
and the eyes wish to be a portal
for grief, tears draining
the seventy percent
of the body that is water.

I drink glass after glass
to resupply my stores.
I kiss my children, not once,
but as many times as I can
before they pull away
from my frantic love pecks.

The senses are under assault
and I search for a balm.
I would eat the bark of the pepper tree
or french kiss a bird of paradise,
slip into a beehive and bathe in honey.
I would set up house in a yellow rose,
pull down all the birds in the trees
to hug them like a pillow at night.

If I could. Instead, I walk, one foot
after another, the rhythm a heartbeat.
There is a moment of shelter under
the sunlit fans of palmetto leaves
where I can see how light and dark
exist in harmony. I’ll take it.
I’ll take anything.

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About the Author

Jamie Asaye FitzGerald is a Los Angeles-based poet from Hawaii and mother of two. Her poems have appeared in The American Poetry ReviewWorks & DaysMom Egg Review, and elsewhere. She can be found at www.jamiefitz.com or on her IG haiku page @jamiefitzwrites.

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