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My Mother's Sisters

Poem by Joy Huntington

The Qargizine, Summer 2017 #7

My mother’s sisters

Are sacred

Their children 

Their songs

Their grandchildren 

Their ceremonies

They walk with steps 

More steady than my own 

They have traveled far 

Through terrain 

My feet will never know

Some walked 

Through darkness

Some walked 

Through light

Each of them 


A gentle truth 

In her eyes

Deep brown 

And alive

They learned to 


My mother’s sisters

Scare me

When I am not prepared 

For harshness

My skin fails me again

It is paper thin

To them

Their eyes tell me 

My blood 

Is made of water

Too weak 

To hold anything


They are still 

So beautiful 

Even when 

I cannot speak

Or move

Or breathe

My mother’s sisters

Are sacred 

They hold candles 

To lead us with their footsteps

To lead us with their faith

They have fed me

Clothed me

Spoiled me

Spanked me

Loved me

Their tenderness

Their discipline

Some have lived through 

The worst

And kept it all in

Some are open books

With open doors

And open arms

My mother’s sisters 

Are sacred 

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