has a new look

Go to the new

Poetry by Bridgette Holmes 

Bridgette is a high school English teacher from Saratoga Springs, New York.





© 2008 Bridgette Holmes





Volunteer Work


It was a cool August night,

probably a Wednesday.

Like every night those three weeks,

my head was swimming

in a haze of beer, Brazilian rum and smoke.


A little boy

begging in the square

came to my table

as I slurped down a caparhina.

They always said to be careful.

Children may panhandle for drugs,

or for their parents' drugs.


But I had just bought two pairs of earrings.

It's really cool how

a traveling souvenir case

floats from table to table.

Drunken tourists, students

buy cheap gifts for their mothers and sisters.

I said, "No reais. Comida."


He took me by the hand to an acarajé stand,

and I paid no more than a dollar

for a hot treat.

I handed it to him,

so proud of my own innovative

alternative to a handout.


he thanked me genuinely.

A mustard colored smile

and cocoa eyes watched me

as I walked away.


Feeling like I had done my part,

I walked back to our table,

full of beer bottles, plastic cups

and cigarette butts,

and continued my night.


Just a half hour later,

the boy came back,

rubbing his belly happily.

I sucked some mix of alcohol from a coconut,

and laughed.

How cute the natives are

with their precocious children

and affordable handmade earrings.


How lucky we are,

the booze and cigarettes

are so cheap.




New Woman New Friend


There is nothing more awe-inspiring to me
(or humbling)
than a belly full of baby.
A woman, who you have known for years
holding a life inside her.
Seeing her poise, her serenity, her purity
in making a perfect person.

I hold my hands
on where I can feel
her butt, her head
her foot
kick kick.
And can't believe this little life
will be soon on the outside.

Friend turned mother
is an interesting transformation.
Like meeting a new person.
And like falling in love
with the capacity of her heart
and her body.

This woman friend,
now someone else,
something more
than she has ever been before.

I can't describe it.
And probably won't know that
poise, that calm, that beauty
until a life grows in me.
But for right now,
it's as miraculous as anything
and diminishing to-
all of the little-
every day-

This belly
holds a world,
a new person,
a new woman
that will
sit on a couch
with a friend's hand
on her belly
feeling little feet
kick kick.


















All work is copyrighted property of Bridgette Holmes.




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