Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Adrie Kusserow: Fontanelegy

After her umbilical cord was cut, thick streaks
of blood wiped off, they brought my daughter 
dry, pink and powdered in a Princess Pretty onesie.
Already she smelled alien, so I huddled 
like an ape over her tiny skull, 
lips moving across her scalp, 
frantically searching for her soft spot, 
the fontanel, its warm pulsing cave, 
no bigger than a dime,
barely covered with a slip of skin.
I felt the manic bird
of her heartbeat flutter into my throat,
her unfinished nerves sparking and misfiring,
the tiny wings of her blood rushing in and out.
 
Twenty years later, an anthropologist, 
I roam the earth’s skull 
with the same urgency as the day I first held her, 
feeling for the vulnerable spots, the cultural fontanels,
the warm parts that throb, back alleys,
liminal zones, where shapes shift, asylees huddle, 
girls pass like shadows
between spirit and flesh, where refugees hide 
in comas and won’t come out til its safe.
the tender places 
that swell between sutures, 
the psych wards and chemo dens,
where the status quo groans, the internet is sketchy, 
   people edgy,
sherpas caught between youtube and soul loss,
avatars and graveyards, ipad and axe,
and globalization drapes unevenly across the earth’s back. 
 
Long ago a monk once told me,
when the dharma feels stiff,  
everything locked into place,
and you race to the elevator, breathless,
just as the doors are about to close,
let them shut, 
let the others go up and down 
in their stale boxes and stuck chakras. 
Instead fly high as you can, 
look down from above,
where the earth still looks wet from its cosmic birth,
dented, soft and supple, 
behold the cartilage, the soft spots 
built into evolution that refuse to harden, 
the places with mouths still hanging open, 
the dark fontanels that ripple 
like wide eyed ponds,
the skull plates hovering like sharks.

Adrie Kusserow’s books include Refuge published by BOA.

Copyright 2020 Adrie Kusserow

Willem Jan Kusserow-Lair

7 comments on “Adrie Kusserow: Fontanelegy

  1. truenatureteaching
    July 8, 2020

    Beautiful and powerful. Thank you for giving us this gift of you! And your son’s art!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann
    July 7, 2020

    What a great metaphor for the vulnerable spots on earth. She’s great! Print more of her stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vox Populi
      July 9, 2020

      Thank you! Adrie Kusserow is a regular contributor to Vox Populi. If you type her name in the search box at the bottom of the page, you’ll see a number of her poems.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Margaret
    July 6, 2020

    Love this poet!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Barbara Huntington
    July 6, 2020

    I remember breathing in the tops of their heads and wondering why this connection was so pure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Julian
    July 6, 2020

    Tender, tender, the fontanelle.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gwensb
    July 6, 2020

    The world in/as a baby’s skull. A mother’s breath.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on July 6, 2020 by in Health and Nutrition, Poetry and tagged , , , .

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