Artist/Band Name: Andrea Gibson
Lyrics To Alaska Says Sun
It was such a rare occasion
my father took out a $2 ad space in the local paper and posted the news.
The headline read “Holy Cow!
Shirley Gibson Got New Shoes.”
My mother could have have killed him.
Said “now everywhere I go people gonna be staring at my feet and y’all,
small town folks will talk”.
But a hummingbird’s wings beat eighty times a second and if you think that’s fast you’ve never seen my mother walk.
Nothing could hold those feet back.
Not even headline news of that first pair of shoes she could afford in eight years.
looked at long dirt roads and avenues the way poets look at microphones.
is where God grows and I was right beside her.
On my banana-seat bicycle, December icicles or August sun, my mom was walking.
And walking and talking and talking.
when I was young
I thought every star in the sky was a starfish that swam all the way up to the night, took one last breath, set itself on fire and fell, just so I could make a wish.
Life isn’t like that, it’s like this:
hard as the concrete beneath your feet sometimes, but you keep on walking block by block, mile by mile, cause every aisle in the store is empty
but the sky is never out of stock when it comes to things to live for.
Look what the sun just bought the moon,
a brand-new yellow dress, let’s go ask her to dance before she sobers up.”
Her cup was always half full then
’cause even when it wasn’t my mother walked like it would be and talked like it already was.
“Sure the grass is greener on the other side,
but what the hell are we gonna do with green grass besides rot in the goddamn pesticides.
Grow deep belly laughs.
Grow your grandmother’s clean conscience.
Grow that dream you had at five years old the first time a pencil callused your kindergarten fingers. You ran all the way home screaming “Look Mom! I’m a writer!
My hand is changing shape to prove that I’m a writer”.
Grow that, in every crack of pavement the soles of your feet can find.
On the day you were born I said daughter like Alaska says sun.
Said ‘I’ve been waiting so long for you to come.
Now go show those starfish how to shine.’
I’m no pacifist.
If I could’ve, I would have killed time.
Stopped it dead in its tracks but it moves too quickly,
it escapes to the corners of your mind and calls itself the past.
The last time my mother fell down,
body still sprawled on the floor, like a rag doll
she called my name like “don’t you cry.
You think the rain’s ashamed to fall?
Something grows every time I hit the ground and I’ll climb up those pitying stairs.”
In a year, my mother will trade her walking shoes for a wheelchair which she says will keep her looking up, but I know she’s scared.
So I’ll wear black to the funeral of my tears and white to the wedding of who I am
and the ways I want to grow to make her proud.
And Mom, you should know,
I’ve been writing steady now for seven years and not once have I ever written a poem sitting down.
I walk around.
I press my hand to my chest and feel my heart pound.
I search the sky for that tipsy moon with the yellow dress
and I call myself blessed for every brown blade of grass I find in this clumsy miracle of a path we walk and talk and sometimes fall down
but for every hard block along the way
I hope we never find a day
that is even close to out of stock when it comes to things to live for.
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