By Jacqueline Jules
My grandmother used to pray for me.
Gray curls on her orthopedic pillow
lips pleading in the dark:
for my solo in the spring concert,
first choice college admission,
Paul Hyer to ask me to prom.
And each time
a mundane petition was granted,
we celebrated with sparkling cider and
rolled wafers from a white tin.
Nana worried I had a pastry thin shell,
easily broken if Dartmouth denied me.
She prayed to keep me filled
with all that was creamy and sweet.
As if my tears would paralyze her smile,
like the stroke which swiped her speech.
My prayers, in the months that followed,
did not change a cruel universe.
But some nights, I stand by the window
watching the moon, round as a white cookie tin,
and I can feel her lips whisper in the dark.
Like most phenomena,
it’s easier documented
How a drop
in barometric pressure
pierces my forehead,
pounds my temple.
One theory suggests
sinuses are to blame.
They object to imbalance,
sudden changes in the air.
I am too often surprised
when my mood plunges
with moisture from the sky.
I should pay attention
to the forecast, buy a barometer,
make an effort to predict
why the sun shines on Tuesday
and not on Wednesday.
Or better yet, I should trust myself
to survive shifting winds,
just as I trust the meteorologist
who promises a passing shower
will not ruin the whole afternoon.
Jacqueline Jules is the award-winning author of 40 books, including the “Zapato Power” series, the “Sofia Martinez” series, “Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation,” and “Pluto is Peeved.” Her poetry has appeared in numerous publications including The Poetry Friday anthologies, GERM Magazine, Cicada, and YARN. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks, including “Field Trip to the Museum,” which includes three poems originally published in YARN. Please visit her online at www.jacquelinejules.com.