The Keepers (For JD, my keeper)

The keepers are all that remain, the ones
with both feet anchored to Earth
and their hair being pulled by the stars
to the Milky Way and Beyond

They’ve learned how to swallow it all, it all,
the medicine of ghostly tragedy
they can hear the high keening stories
the stories of tender hearts’ piercings

The keepers, the ones that remain, remain
they keep the connections to meaning
they keep the transitions so sacred
and they bridge life and death with their bodies

they become that bridge, graceful, suspended, suspended
unseen and constructed from blood
and composed in the song of the blood and the sweat
and revealed in the sacred teardrops

and they stretch over oceans with skin, with their skin
they anoint with the oil so sacred
of trauma endure-ed and conquered
by outlasting its flailing last gasps

and they hold in the dark, in the still dark
like an armor that never needs donning
and that never need be taken off
they are Mama’s Heart in skin and bone

The keepers are all that remain, the ones,
The ones too stubborn to leave
the ones too persistent to wipe out
The keepers alive in Her flame

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