Two Poems by Jennifer McKeen Rodrigues






I Called You Orion

when you were in my belly,
small as a grapefruit seed.
Within the dark of my womb
you shone of your own constellation-
star glow-
growing and expanding out from
our own little galaxy.

The orange and white cat
named Zsa Zsa Gabor
slept each night between my legs
at the cave of your exit,
as if to prevent your
early admission from Heavenly
to Earthly realm.

I dreamed once that you arrived,
I stood silently in the hospital
elevator holding you
riding to the sound of Muzak,
we beamed into each other’s
celestial eyes.
You, a boy, Orion the hunter,
and I, Euryale, the mother.

You came with no fuss at all,
my girl,
my darling collection
of perfectly aligned stars,
transitioned from cold night sky
slipped into a warm cotton wrap
held to my bare swollen chest,
mouth agape in slumber.
I named you Rhea,
Mother of the Gods.

Casa de Piedimonte

On a sunrise slope
Mid-century modern
Brick archways
Pool in the back
Tennis court on the side
you wear these things like
a headdress.

You home a koi pond
with statues of Greek beauties
neighboring the Japanese Tea Room
You home a tiny stained-glass chapel
Brand new kitchen
Original master bath
with a teal sunken tub.

You homed a family since 1950
Italian & proud.
Imported lights from Turkey
Oh, steal my heart already!
Unfinished basement
Library with a secret wall
passageway, that’s for novels.

Within you I see the long presence
of a man.
He loved you,
you homed him.
I see parties by the pool
adults carrying martini glasses
& laughing.
How I wish it could be, that I
were to fill you up
with my presence,
talk to the koi
meditate by the stained-glass
paint my joy on your walls,
But alas, the sale has gone
to the highest bidder.
I will never get to drink in
your sunrise.

Jennifer McKeen Rodrigues currently lives on the sacred Powhatan land of Fairfax, VA. She is trained as a certified yoga therapist & trauma informed yoga teacher, military spouse, & mom. She has been published in The Muleskinner Journal, tiny frights, Amethyst Review, The Martello Journal, & Bluepepper as either poet or photographer. She would like to thank Not the Rodeo Poets for their undying support and love.

Image by Bernard Spragg. NZ from Christchurch, New Zealand, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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