Walking through each gateway
time chapters, unseen traps,
let me be protected by this soft collection
gathered in an amulet.
Calling on all their gifts and powers,
the red-gold of my grandmother’s hair
lily-of-the-valley for grandpa, the gardener
R.B. the green of his printer’s visor
grandma B. the smell of fresh bread
and powerful honey.
From my father, a sepia photograph
and my mother, a silver mirror
and these are just from the capricious dead.
Who knows if they are paying attention
if they are larking about
on their motorcycles
Calling on the sweet living
the ones who give me love and flowers
and art and music and delicious
conversation and tough talk, too.
That is the purple heartbeat
of this guardian.