(for my babe)
You will lose sleep, you will not eat or drink, and you will lose
your mind. But your heart, that will be the hardest thing
to lose, because as they say, behind every Hero, there lies
a tragedy. Royalty and gentry are born into their fate, the fate
of poverty inflicted by those wielding power of any kind,
but the hero, the hero can only be forged through fire, transcending
even time. Thetis, Achilles’ mother, called him by this name,
this mothers’ only name, whispered in hushed tones between
lullabies and strapping armor, while learning how to eat dirt
in the field and on the floor of your enemy. While learning how
to eat on the floor of the senate, floor of the kitchen,
the coliseum, and temple. Showing them how to eat anything
and everything you have to in order to survive. Mothers everywhere
will call them by this name, everywhere and every single one.
They will call them by this name when words have failed, they will
call and call and call and call at their grave, at all their graves,
tombs and mausoleums, and even when it’s written in the stars.
Kelly J. Powell is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton's Literature and Rhetoric program where she studied under John Vernon, Milton Kessler and Jerome Rothenberg. She is a poet native to Long Island with an affinity for the beautiful in the ordinary. Her recent work with the Suffolk Laureate's mentee program has been her second proudest achievement. Her first is her transgender daughter who is an excruciatingly successful social worker and activist.