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Calling the mud to defend us,
cool clay from the river soothes
our hands, relieves the itch from each sting.
We clothe our golem in discarded
blue jeans and trace EMETH
on its forehead, bind
our truth to water and clay,
and it can’t talk back.
(The girls remember she beat her sons
with a broom handle for talking back.)
Calling the mud to service,
we speak words beyond our translation,
“Shanti, shanti, dahat, dahat!”
Words stolen from folk tales
where children clambered
over car hoods like goats.
(She made him return the roses
to buy her a bathrobe for Mother’s Day.)
Golem cannot eat, needs no pay, and will
find its way back. Each day it grows.
(She chased her bleating daughter back along
the path of the lost ten dollar bill.)
Leave a note in its mouth
in the dark. It will do your bidding.
(Once fierce.
Age left her skin paper thin.)
Erase the “E” from its forehead.
Banish memories stamped with hoof prints.


Trina Gaynon volunteers with WriteGirl, an organization in Los Angeles providing workshops and mentors for high school girls interested in writing. She also works with an adult literacy program. Her poems appear in the anthologies Bombshells and Knocking at the Door, as well as numerous journals including Natural Bridge, Reed,   and the final issue of Runes.

© 2012, Trina Gaynon

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