girls didn’t leave home until the wedding in those days, still, Esther was bound for the city watching the darkness gather outside the window, her body relaxing as the train sped along, the droning of the wheels lulling her, she grasped the last bit of light ringing the horizon, plucking an invisible flow of memories streaming across her awareness, one by one, she made a list – a gutsy plan, not at all her usual routine. she saw it as her only way out, wondering,would her father see it her way ?
when she entered the hospital walking under the old fashioned door frame, Esther felt safe, courting bravery until it became second nature, her only wages were the tricks she gleaned and the support she sought while she learned her art, never mind failure, she threw all-night parties cramming chemistry, anatomy, physiology, biology, psychology and all those other ‘ologies into her mind
and her heart, bitten by this virus,
and smitten by a strange desire to comfort.
much later, she wrapped herself in white
and fell in with a band of Nightingales.
In the time before dawn the sky is another country, all purple and windy, with a strand of pink haze wrapped around the horizon, embracing the morning star, snuffing out her beauty like a candle tilting in the bruised wind;
the gulls write their story across the snow clouds, their crying captures a word- juggler
in time’s lonely aspect
sustaining her in the warp and weft of the storm. The poet planned an epic tale, woven out of the fugue state of winter
sent by the devils of the night,
but her meager notes mention only that the sky is still another country, all purple and windy, even after dawn.
How is it possible that, on a morning when the clouds, curling back upon themselves, and giving up only momentary corridors of bare sky, on a morning when those maddeningly small tokens of blue taunt and tease a rain-weary, fog-weary heart, how, I ask again, is it that the sighing wind, bending toward the naked oak tree, can carry a burst of bird song through the myriad layers of a morose winter morning, piercing the frozen edges of a january nap
prodding and poking me out of my
By what miracle does a Carolina wren,
the tiniest of wintering birds,
on the gloomiest of winter days, sing in the only voice the universe gave it,
an April voice, conjuring up a stunning moment of spring, and bestowing a blessing
on the rain besotted morning, anointing my eyes and ears
with the chrism of its winter anthem, just in time to save my dispirited soul from the depths of winter silence?
meant to poison, will find a way to be heard, with her infinite capacity to distort the precise moment of my weakness, pounding it with her fists full of words and innuendos into an altogether new creation emitting a pulse of lies with a sly rhythm I cannot bear to witness again.
The invisible reality is buried in the woods some distance from her childhood home and I must kneel in the soft loam digging with my bare hands
until I hit the hard edges of my own truth.
still roaming the inky darkness
of an immeasurable,unknowable landscape, a soul sheeted in ice, searches cobbled sidewalks, rock-strewn country roads and remote pebbled shores for a safe passageway
like a moth bending closer, closer body, soul, essence lured to the fire that warms and melts frozen heart sounds these flames consume the remnants of the restless child, massaging the clay of resistance softening and molding it eroding a foolish need to escape the stillness
it seems a simple task and yet…….. when is the heart ever ready
to embrace the kiln of eternity,
that wild yearning to awaken
to the holy breath of god?