This July 2021, Lyricality’s Founder and Director Tracy Rittmueller shares 4 poems that reveal some similarities between poetry and prayer.

Cocoon by Hedy Tripp is a poem of lament, similar to a prayer in its expression of sorrow, springs from a hope for a future healing when today’s loss turns into “love and peace.” If you wonder what makes a poem different from an individual’s memory of an event, notice this poet’s use of repetition and the poem’s emotional sequence from love to loss to restoration. Combined, these devices allow a reader to experience the consoling back and forth momentum of a rocking cradle.    

Tracy Rittmueller

Cocoon
by Hedy Tripp

You lay in my womb
Cocooned in soft waters
Heart pulsing
Loved for every movement

Then you lay still, floating…
Why does your heart not beat?
No pulse…sonogram silent….
Dead within the folds of my body

We shared sweet dreams and big visions
We were close friends
Dream child
I close my eyes
And your smile floats by
That fleeting moment in time
That you were with us
That tiny wisp of a sweet smell

But your spirit is still strong
Passed on to another part of that great design
Embroidered in the depths of my heart

You will come again
In another womb
In another pair of beautiful brown eyes
Eyes full of wonder for everything is new

You will come again
In the smiles of ebony-hued children
And upturned noses of pink peach-colored faces
You will come again in love and peace

***

Hedy Tripp is a poet and an elder Asian American woman leader from St. Cloud, Minnesota. She had the opportunity to gather and rewrite this poem and many others with the help of grants from the Central Minnesota Arts Board, thanks to funds provided by the McKnight Foundation. Her two grandchildren have “beautiful brown eyes …full of wonder.”

“Cocoon” by Hedy Tripp appears here with permission of the author.

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