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Friday, March 18, 2011

Question Mark

Sylphs wrapped my hands and feet in bandages
And this is why I come to you on warped limbs,
With warm smile weakening in the snow,
Trembling inwards to a hard line of pain,
Its last refuge lost in the surfeit of water 
That sways, caressing the curve of the lower eyelid.

Somehow they managed to consume my soul.
With my last strength I can only stretch out on the ground.
Pale gold light traces the streams down my cheekbones.
I can only dream of mercies, never ask.
When I raised my head enough to see your feet,
I knew this was the end of my longest road.

The beginning was in the forest with the spirits.
The Green Man gave me a root to chew,
Which tasted reassuring, like dirt, like pond,
And made my dreams endless and life-like.
The specters kissed me on both cheeks and blessed me,
And the Summer bit my shoulders and rubbed my knees.

In between, I read a thousand books, and laughed.
I watched a thousand birds, and reflected blindly.
Breaking, I cared for nothing but my own thoughts,
And even when my fingers all fell apart
I paid the piper without a bat of an eye,
Although his advice was to surrender and die.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Our Hands

You and I, we like to sit and work, not talking.
Imagistically, what are we saying
When our hands snap green beans into thirds
Or twist yarn around itself, around its own neck,
Strangling its straight and narrow out of it,
Enslaving it to be what it will soon be?

You worked up a silence like a healthy sweat,
The quiet is dripping off you and rising
In two matted-cotton vapors, muffs for my ears.
A smile could start me like a shout or gunshot,
So loud are your expressions once I've grown used
To coasting on butter with the wheels in my head.

I have always worn your never-talking
With the resignation of a harnessed horse,
Blinking at the barn door beyond the stall gate.
I leap a fence like a bronco occasionally,
Just to see if my voice still has steady legs,
But always land on your surprise and reluctance.

I and you, we sit alone together so often,
Islands slightly more quiet in air that is
A doldrum ocean softly too quiet.
Fishing for one more crochet stitch to wring,
More food to prepare for Winter storage,
Sitting on the beach, we have nothing left to discuss.


This poem is dedicated to my sister, whom I wrote it about, 
and to my good friend  Nate, who said he really liked it.