My mother spoke in tongue | Deborah Ramos

Image: Cathy Williams

My mother spoke in tongue

to confuse the devil.
She put on her armor, opened the bible,
and pounded the pages flat with her feverish brow.

In the small morning hours,
she called Jesus from the cross,
the sun just rising beyond the orange tree.
She fought Satan all through the night
behind the locked bedroom door.
I heard the dreadful cries.
I begged her to come out, step into the light.

I tempted her with Body of Christ chips.
I offered a goblet of consecrated wine.
But she remained hostage
within the walls of her own madness.
“My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust”,
she screamed, pounding her head on that fucking bible.

She couldn’t catch hold of reality,
so I tossed a net into the river of no edges, no bottom.
She gave herself to the water,
wings folded against her beaten body.
My bloody hands of rebirth
drew her into the womb of my arms.

Eyes dark in their sockets,
I held a mother’s heart close to mine.
We rocked until her spirit washed clean.
We rocked until she found peace in the end of the world.
We rocked until she saw the face of her weeping daughter.

Deborah Ramos, a San Diego artist and poet, is the author of from the earthen drum of my body. Deborah is a graduate of San Diego State University, where she studied art, textiles, costume design and history of theatre. Deborah writes about the sacred feminine, primal desires, roadkill and her cats. Her poetry has appeared in SageWoman, Rattlesnake Press, Dancing Goddess, National Beat Anthology, Border Voices, Fuck Isolation Anthology, Literary Sexts, San Diego’s Writers Ink, and more. Deborah’s creative life includes traveling, writing, exhibiting her art and photography, as well as hosting Poets at the Grove readings in Balboa Park.

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