Patricia Biela: Mamie’s Hands

Grand-mère, je vois tes mains.
Your hands coddle infants
nourish your children.

Mamie, je vois tes mains.
Your hands interlock God.
Rosary beads hang.

Grand-mère, je vois tes mains.
Your hands plant
mango and bananane.

Mamie, je vois tes mains.
Your hands teach poise, strength.
My hands wait for yours.

Virginia, April 25, 2011

*   *   *

Patricia Biela, a native of Maryland, is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a BA in Psychology. She is currently studying English courses through Open Yale Courses, Yale University. A first generation American, she is of Angolan paternal and Haitian maternal descent.

Biela is an Assistant Editor of Reverie: Midwest African American Literature and Assistant Poetry Editor of Willow Books, A Poetry Imprint of Aquarius Press. A member of the Poetry Society of Virginia, Biela is a recipient of the 2010 Margaret Bean Scholarship from The Muse Writers Center, Norfolk, Va. She participated in the 2010 inaugural Cave Canem South Poetry Workshop, the 2009 Lyrical City Writing Workshop (Washington, D.C.) as well as the 2008 Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop.

Biela is a 2007 Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Foundation Scholarship recipient from the Fine Arts Work Center Summer Poetry Workshop and a 2006 Hurston/Wright Workshop Alumna. She was a poetry venue review columnist for the Spring/Summer 2004 One Heart Publication – Holistic Journal.

She has a poem exhibited in Epiphany Salon and Spa, Washington, D.C. Her poems appear in the book Cracking Walnuts and Other Goodies by Arlene Carter-Pounds, The Other Journal, The Chemistry of Color: Poems Responding to Art Anthology, Berkeley Poetry Review, Sketchbook- A Journal for Eastern & Western Short Forms, Drumvoices Revue, Warpland, Stanford University’s Black Arts Quarterly, The Caribbean Writer, Void Magazine (online), Howard University’s The Amistad (online), and X Magazine.

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