a cork board


Day 1/Poem 1 – NaPoWriMo
PMpTue, 03 Apr 2012 22:44:52 +000044Tuesday 1, 2010, 10:44 pm
Filed under: events, poems | Tags: , , ,

Free

She said to me

set me free

 

In her eyes, lived a sadness

no man could ever know.

The frailty of her eyes

sat like a wounded animal

too far gone to

lick her wounds.

 

She turned her palms to the sky

and exposed a railroad map

of arteries and veins

crossing one another

like tire marks of getaway cars.

 

The sides of her elbows

protruded from beneath her skin

as if an overflowing grocery bag.

 

Her gaze met mine,

in emptiness.

With this, exhaled and closed her eyes.

She became a tree before my very eyes.

The wind whispered and

asked me to climb her bones.

 

So I pulled myself

over the very first branch.

My shoulders ached like

a weary soul not meant for this life.

 

I painstakingly used my legs

to push myself up

to the next branch.

My knees cracked

the way bumpers on cars

break on impact.

 

The next branch brought migraines.

The next one coated my lungs

in layers of ash weighing on me like regret.

When I reached the top,

my body was failing me.

I pulled on the last branch.

My heart collapsed as if

it had been stepped on.

My fingers lost grip.

I drifted back.

I fell like the wind until

my body crashed onto the earth.

 

When I looked up.

The tree was gone.

She stood as she stood before…

palms exposed, eyes tired,

ribs peaking from behind curtains of skin.

 

She winced when she said,

do you see now? I am broken. You must set me free.

 

I looked into her eyes and I felt it.

The tired bones.

The ragged heart.

Her body was a testament

to the cancer that ravaged her spirit.

 

Naught three children, one husband

or countless family members could

carry her away from this monster.

 

Now nothing mattered,

except release.

What was I to do?

I understood.

She had placed

her own shoes

upon my feet and,

I too, had become broken.

 

I breathed a sigh of responsibility,

mouthed The Lord’s Prayer,

mouthed the word Amen

and the words I love you too.

Placed a pillow over her sullen face,

held tightly until her wrist fell limp.

 

She did not kick.

She did no tremble.

She only gripped my wrist

as a sign of gratitude and

let go when she was gone.

The moment I’d set her free.

 

And now,

I still find myself

climbing trees to see

if, maybe, I might find her there.

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