Snow globes

My Grandmother gave me four snow globes over the course of four winters

Each has a place on my shelf, frozen in time

When I look at them I am reminded of my Grandmother’s love, of that beating heart that gave it’s own blood to bear four children.

Each snow globe holds a lesson

One contains tropical fish swimming over ceramic coral; it reminds me to stay fluid, to keep moving forward in the face of obstacles

Another houses a castle; it reminds me to stay strong, stand firm and feel at home in my body

The third encases a wizard; it reminds me to stay open to the magic of the present moment

The fourth has a family of panda bears in it; it reminds me that I am connected to all living things

I used to have a fifth snow globe which contained a unicorn; it was smashed when I left it unattended, reminding me to take care of what I have

Sometimes I think about giving my snow globes away

They could have a new life and brighten a child’s day

For now, they stay

Grandma

Your bones were a home to his hate

Pushing the limit of how much pain one body could hold

Stoic, we didn’t know

Did your bones creak under the weight of his blows?

Did your spirit waver?

You talked to yourself in rushed whispers nobody heard

Did you speak your truth?

Your body didn’t break despite the violence

He had a rigid mind and brittle bones

In his attempts to use force, you proved yourself stronger

You endured decades of untold abuse

Did you know that you didn’t have to suffer alone?

In putting the family first, did you forget that you are the family?

When he died, did you cry?

When his death finally freed you, did you feel safe in your skin?

Did the prison bars of his arms penetrate your mind?

Nearly a century old, you are still alive and well

I won’t ask you to share your trauma

You won’t ask me to share mine

Our bones are strong