May 092015

                         It is easier to love broadly and generally

                         to see the face of God in every being

                         to keep the details at a distance like when you kind-of

                         half-cross your eyes and everything becomes just

                         A little




                         The ‘I love you when I see you clearly’

                         is much harder

                         when you notice the stains on his teeth,

                         that crap in the inside corner of his big toe that’s

                         probably been there for years,


                         the guarding that keeps him always ten to





                         When he is soft around the edges, you can keep him there

                         a little ghost-like and unreal


                         the moment you steady your gaze

                         you see him, so


                         so very



                         Your arms stretch out of their own accord –

                         the craving for something real and solid

                         breaks that blaring siren right open

                         like the hungry heart

                         weeping in its desire for communion.


                         You crave him

                         like the starving lust after

                         any food placed in front of them.


                         Your arms shatter in your searching,

                         body puddling your weeping need

                         tears spill the Earth in surrender until

                         you are yielded back into the soil from which you arose.

© 2015, Sabrina Santa Clara

Feb 222015

It Has Finally Happened to One of Us

It has finally happened to one of us
For a moment, forgettingpeople on path
as she forgets, that
the center point is not the I.
It is happening to her,
we are merely witnesses.

I do not remember the length of this journey
nor do I envision this journey’s end.
I do not allow myself to imagine too thickly
the upcoming changing terrain.
I have heard the stories and studied the brochures,
but never having walked this path
I work to keep my eyes from searching too far ahead
noticing only the bush to the left,
grass to the right, and
the rocky path just a few steps ahead.

It is only one foot stepping in front of the other,
breath supporting each forward motion.

My family,
walking beside me
sometimes grasps and struggles
as I sometimes gasp and stumble
we reach through arms and elbows
raise each other from skin broke open
to once again
one foot stepping in front of the other.

It has finally happened to one of us.
Eyes respond with compassion to the
frightened “I don’t know who you are,”
while the heart drops to pit
and grief becomes the anchor that roots.

In this long journey,
In this one foot in front of the other,
this stumble, rip open, raise again
the I yields to the We as
roots intertwine.
With braided arms,
we bear witness to my mother’s untethering.

© 2015, Sabrina Santa Clara

Jan 042015

Mom n Me 2014Every morning, without fail,
she put her depression and the misery of her marriage
in the dryer that stood in the kitchen
good only for countertop space and
storing the 20 lb bag of potatoes we seemed to live on.

Every morning, without fail
She sang in her happy, lilting voice,
“good morning, Sunshine!”
as she straightened out the blankets I’d twisted in the night,
pushed back the Rapunzel hair my father forbid us to cut
and kissed me softly on the forehead.

Every morning, without fail
the love in her voice
chased the misery of my childhood back
beneath my bed,
if only for a brief moment.
Is it any wonder,
almost half a century later,
that I fall in love with every new morning?

My mother was an amazing compartmentalizer.
Before the last three years
I could count the times I’d see her cry.
Now, it is me who compartmentalizes.
I lay my grief in the hands of friends,
let it wail into the circle of community,
drain it into a poem,
anywhere that its cause cannot see.

I keep my voice and body soft as I
wipe the tears from her cheeks.
My inquiries have become a kind of short-hand,
Sad? Lonely? Scared? Confused?
She nods at one or the other but I suspect
she has lost the meanings of those words too.

She is too big a woman to place on my lap
so I take her in my arms and
lean her on my shoulder
soothe her with
the slow circle back rubs of my childhood.

I breathe slowly and softly
calming her body with my own.
Then I sing to my mother the song of my childhood,
“Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,
Mamma’s gonna buy you a mocking bird,
and if that mocking bird don’t sing,
Mamma’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.”

Being childless,
I once believed I would never know the unconditional love of motherhood.
I was wrong.

But this mothering,
is a painful kind of mothering
for what mother would pray for their own’s release?

Mother, oh my mother,
may you be relieved of this body that wanders aimlessly
as if seeking the soul that has become untethered.

Mother, oh my mother
may you be relieved of the mind that
has become too spacious to hold the fullness of you.

I’m not certain, beloved mother, what is on the other side,
But I do so hope you’re awakened there with a
“good morning, Sunshine!


© 2014 Sabrina Santa Clara