Sleep Skills
These days I wake up tired
after hours skimming sleep’s
surface like a hungry bird, waiting.
They say it’s a fact of growing older,
to lose the skill for sleep infants
and teenagers effortlessly have.

I think of my yaya. When I was a girl,
she was already dressed before first light,
her body telling her it was time
to live the day, tend to her needles and thread,
her yarn, and in her kitchen, the flour and water
in their porcelain bowls; a woman waiting for the morning
to rise under her hands.
I think of my yaya, all those hours
at her Singer sewing machine,
or sitting with her skeins of yarn,
or the thimble on her finger as she
basted and lined
the pleats of drapes,
the hems of dresses and skirts and coats,
as she embroidered doilies and linens,
pillowcases and sheets.

All I have are my pens, scatterings
of ink in dark blue or black, sometimes purple
or green, depending on my mood,
and the hope my hand aligns somehow with hers as
I make small stitches of words across paper
that sometimes feels like rough cotton,
sometimes like silk.

“Creating” first appeared in Marrow of Summer, by Andrea Potos, published by Kelsay Books.