Progeny of Pomegranates

You survived the drought, 
leaving a legacy of unquenchable thirst. 
Progeny born with clenched fists and contorted faces 
attempt to shower your stories on the world. 
Cooling in shadows, writhing in sunbeams. 
Parched lips persist, 
desiccated portals to burning throats 
scratching sorrow’s songs. 

You marched the barren desert as a malnourished child. 
Shriveled eyes beheld family fall. 
Calloused hands desecrated your sister the day she became sand. 
You kept marching. 
Years later you sat with your toddler son. 
He wondered why you shook, why water spilled from your glass, 
dribbled down your chin, disappeared into your chest. 

After the desert, you witnessed the river. 
An infant son clenched your bosom. 
Thudding heart beats syncopated in rapid unison. 
You placed him on the bank, signed the holy cross, 
Anointed his crown with a kiss, 
Submerged him below the surface. 
Lungs deluged, wide eyes bulged, 
A blurred maternal figure diverted her gaze, 
Vanished into nightfall, the descendant of 
a scalding sun. 

Wisdom conspired with miracles. 
A midnight moon lit your path towards an ominous ship. 
You prayed to a God you still hoped was listening. 
Lifted on deck by strange and stealthy hands you hoped you were right in trusting. 
The anchor released, pulled from the only known home, 
Silent tears splashed into the sea. 

Decades passed before moments of relief, even joy. 
You guzzled pomegranate juice, nourishing your blood during the dry Valley summers. 
The Ruby Wonders beamed on the table when your granddaughter visited. 
She sat on your lap. 
You cut the skin of fruit, 
Accompanied by the duet of laughter, 
uncovering labyrinthine seeds together. 

She still remembers how you savored the seeds, 
Chewing with closed eyes, adorned with a smile. 
You knew she was watching. 
Your steady pulses merged. 
She understood. 
You recalled early memories of bountiful 
pomegranate orchards. 

But please, you must answer this: How did you water the pomegranates?

--Stephanie S., Adult