Now and Then

By Michele Lee

She now stands taller than me
with legs as strong as a Viking woman;
descendants are we.
Wrapped in my arms,
I guarded her with the intensity
of a thousand Viking women.
To protect my babe
I would have fought a thousand men.
With my bare hands,
I would have silenced their breath.
Without a doubt, now.
Most certainly, then.

A ripple across my rounding center,
she became one with my rhythms.
A ripple sprung from tiny legs
released thru tiny toes.
A flutter across
my expanding heart.
A butterfly whose wings
continue to grow.
A love that showed
me the depths of delicate;
I would give my life to protect it.
Without a doubt, now.
Most certainly, then.

Artist Sammi Lee is in town for a few days. Sammi showed up in this world with a restless independent spirit. I sensed that before she took a single breath in it. Her energetic kicks. Her tiny legs were always “riding a bicycle” during every ultra-sound visit. Her desire to arrive early confined me to bed for seven weeks. Her dramatic entrance one hour after my doctor said “she would arrive seven hours later”; I knew better. Her glass-cracking colicky screams, that began at three weeks and continued for another thirteen more, gave me many angry looks and sent shoppers sprinting to the nearest exit. I could go on about her restless independent spirit, but I choose to end this list with the acknowledgement of how quietly she now steps. Her stepping, although quiet, brings a memorable connection with every visit.

For those new to this space – Sammi is a talented artist who creates in many mediums, including poetry illustrations as the designer of my Being a Woman poetry collections. A scholarship recipient and graduate of the University of Oregon, her art has been displayed at various galleries, venues, platforms, festivals, and on bodies and in homes across the states. Enjoy more of her art at, Mintaka Collection. Thank for visiting! Be well. Michele

Poem note: My mom, another independent spirit, has devoted a great deal of time to genealogy research over the last several years. Through her research we have learned of our connection to Sir Henry Rippy from Ireland. His lineage can be traced to Vikings. Edward Rippy, a descendent of Henry, emigrated to America in 1730, landing in Baltimore, MD. More than you wanted or needed to know, but fascinating, nonetheless. I don’t have time for the digging but enjoy reading my mom’s historical research. I first mentioned my lineage in a poem titled, “Blood Builds a Bond.”

Featured image: Digital art by Sammi Lee, titled, “Like a Light” Photo of she and I taken many moons ago by Sammi’s father

© 2022 Michele Lee Sefton

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