Paulette Beete

The Makers of Memorials

They sing. They sing blue songs
their mothers wore.
They sing grief
, bone-thick & left-handed.
They sing songs cross oceans, cross sidewalks.
They sing skies sealed shut.
They sing men born wearing walking shoes.
They sing women born palms up.
They sing from mouths without lipstick,
charts without notes, pianos without tunes.
They sing back-door songs & apron-
tied-low songs. They sing.
Unmaking the made into something less
teeth-breaking. They sing
dead crops, dead gods, men
put down, men put out,
dreams put off. Off key, off beat, they sing.
Steady. Loud. Relentless. They sing
instead of, in spite of, next door to. They sing
in clinics, in bedrooms, on corners. They sing.
Women in blue & purple, in thorn tiaras braided
from agains & nevermores & never minds.
Songs of children lost, of savings lost,
pawn tickets lost.
They sing. They sing. They sing
blue songs of our mothers,
holier-songs of our blue mothers.
They sing the slow leak that will drown
the world. They call God home
for the re-making.

Paulette Beete's poems, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in journals including Rhino, Crab Orchard Review, Escape into Life, and Provincetown Arts. Beete has published two chapbook collections: Voice Lessons (Plan B Press, 2011), and Blues for a Pretty Girl (Finishing Line Press, 2005). She lives in Silver Spring, MD and blogs at The Home Beete. She also watches a lot of British cop shows. Read more by this author: Paulette Beete: Fall 2011