Rookie (Chicago, Illinois)

A Face - Poem by MARINA GIPPS

A baby fell down & stopped breathing.
Resuscitated- recognizing the days of death,
details of days of her ancestors
before her mother's conception of her.

People thought she was a witch-
mother & grandmother both inhabiting
the same orb.

The child shied away, only petty foreigner
with a beautiful garden where magical herbs grew.
The only one with a looking glass ball
& a green fountain of marble from France
with a statue of a cherub weeping.

Tigerlilies grew in the fresh ground
& the child would grab them
placing the red powder of the stamen on her lips,
pretending she was a woman,
looking up at the dark sky
praying for rain to avoid the chill of school.

The garden's blue sphere, waiting for her
while sad children played ghost in a neighboring garden.
Staring into the maze: Would she see her prince?
Perhaps, the outline of a face in the shadows, following her.

Perhaps, this face was a god or an angel or a devil
delivering a message.
She had heard stories. She wanted to go with Him.

Years of dust danced upon this child.
She could barely breathe.
She grew alone
Waiting for the face to reappear
after many years of not seeing it.

She is waiting for the face in a place elsewhere
where memories cease to exist
& the slate of a roof is rained upon-
where gardens are left clean.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Poem Edited: Thursday, September 16, 2010

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