h1

18

May 23, 2008

 

slowly

with
great caution

in
halting
measured step

I creep
from
sanctuary
dark

to leave
solace
safety
and sorrow
behind

to
sidle
in uncertainty
into
the
chafing
cutting light

head bowed

eyes
swollen red

mind bruised

spirit crushed

heart
mercilessly
torn

I am
tensed
for flight

emerging

visible again

though
just barely

in snap
recoil
from movements
quick

from
any gesture
toward
my person

don’t reach

don’t
touch

do not
touch

do
not
touch
me

fragile
as a
newborn
bird

unsteady
as
a fawn

and
just
as frightened

just
as
unsure

this is
territory
long
untrod

movement
long
abandoned

sorrowfully
abandoned

forgotten
purpose
purposely
avoided

shunned
in anger

my wounded
animal
took
refuge
in aloneness

solitary
in the
horror

dug in
with
resolve
to
disappear

perhaps
to die

simple breathing
a
considered
labor

each
breath
weighed and
measured

its worth
evaluated

most times
found
of little
value

but still
I drew
them
hesitantly

counted
every
tear
that fell

struggled
with
the hand
of death

my hand

my
hand
of deliverance

debating
should
I bid
it end
this
misery

this agony

again and again
debating

pleading
in the
soothing
blackness

to barter
my mortality
for
yours

begging
the
bargain

holding it
in
the light
of
grief
to see
just
how
it might be done

over and over
day after day

night
upon
horrific
night

my empty
shell
beseeching
that
my
broken life

somehow
be
sacrifice
enough

to make
yours
whole
once more

the
catalyst
to spark
the
fire of life
into
your eyes

your
cold

dead

empty eyes

but I
found
no takers
for
my deal

only
painful
abject loneliness

soul-wrenching
regret

and so
I lay

shallow
breathing

unfed

unwashed

unsaved

resigned
to
simply
vanish

to pull
around me
the numb
of
sacred
death

but in
my
time
of forfeiture

a dim
but
growing light
fell upon
the faces
of
the others
who survive

the others
whom
I love

who look
to
me
to lead them
from this
dark
and chilling
pit

from
this
brutal plane
of
hopelessness

from despair

to be
strong

to find
the
reason
to go on

ever slowly
this
dim light
grows

and
the chill
to lift

my eyes
again
to see

my purpose
taking
gradual
form
as I
reluctantly
observe

so

slowly
I emerge

but
please

no quick
or sudden
expectations

I fear
I
may flee

never
to return

permit me
slow
and steady
emergence
from
my
chrysalis
of anguish

do not
attempt
to ease
my
return
with feigned
sympathy

or
hollow condolence

don’t assault me
with
declarations
of
your knowledge
of
my feelings

my state of
mind

do
not
insult me

for you
do not
know

you
do
not

so
please

be still

stand off

and
let me
find my way

back
into
this mortal world

this is
my return

not yours

offer only
patience

and
safe distance

 

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11 comments

  1. Your chosen form for this poem slows the reader down to a slow plod. You successfully used the form to build suspense. Nice.


  2. I agree with Pam. I share in the emotions of this narrator as I move through the poem. To be as vulnerable as a newborn fawn and to take those first steps is no small thing. Thanks for this.


  3. The form and diction nicely match the subject, the searching and reaching quality. Well done.


  4. Exquisite. An agonizingly pure and true reflection of deep loss and deep grief. Beautifully done.


  5. Such a deep well of sorrow, searching for the courage to live on. Beautifully done.


  6. Grief and recovery is so private, so unique to the person who suffers it. We may believe we have been there as the other is but in truth, we were all so deeply, painfully alone when in the midst of it. The structure of your poem could not make that solitude more clear.


  7. murmurs of life barely breathing …poignant… and leaves me speechless..


  8. i had to change my domain name to whypaisley.com please change your links and or feed as necessary

    all you will have to do is remove the – from between why and paisley,, everything else will remain the same and will redirect you to the correct page…. sorry for the inconvenience…


  9. The short lines and paragraph breaks create the rhythm of somebody gasping for breath, speaking haltingly, perhaps trying not to cry – the perfect sound to match your words. And I love the phrase “chrysalis of anguish.”


  10. Amazing. Glad my friend left a link to it in google talk.
    Peace and love in grief and love,
    Kimberly
    http://labortrials.wordpress.com


  11. [...] original link here [...]



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