Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy Brithday Brady T. Brady!

Today is my stepdad's 60th Birthday. He's been a beautiful guide in my life since I was eight or so. He's one of the chief editors of my work. He's also an amazing writer and the person who most inspired me to try my hat at the impossible idea of writing down your own thougths.

I love you Brady!

Ada Limón

Accidental Saint

What would we have done if you hadn't found us?

I had nightmares about it for years.
this man who has worked his way with a shovel and chisel into my mother,

into my soul, into the back of my brother's brain.

Who worked us into being.

In my nightmares, you were always back in Vietnam. Palms burning around you,
and I am hurt
or I am hiding, but I dig a stubborn finger in wet burlap, just like you told me to, and yell
your name

and the one and only time I saw a ghost,
it took the shape of you.

I wasn't scared, I even lifted my head and spoke to it. It was all energy and light.

You are a saint of things holy,

things holy like the truth.

Because I asked you if the black-haired girl in the small dress
outside the barracks was your girlfriend.

I asked you about the heart so hardened and petrified they called it purple

I asked you why you screamed yourself awake,

and you, you insisted on answering.

You cut a hole
in our world and grew there

and in late August I finally saw the statue you and my mother had been laughing about
and it was true

our friend had sculpted you by mistake.

His mold of Saint Francis had taken on your face, your eyes, the arm outstretched,
the forefinger that held the bird, the holy.

We all stood around it in awe of its likeness, the ears,

and it was no longer a saint that looked like you, but you

turned into our accidental saint.

You said saints never play the horses or have drinking problems,
never want to die.

But I insist you are better than anything in bronze everlasting

Because when I say, Everything is moving,

I feel a burning inside of me like a bird wing,

the feathers coming out of
my mouth, the top of my head,
like flames,

You say, Me too.

Shankpainter, 2001, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center

1 comment:

kate said...

Ada, this is lovely.