by Sep 19, 2004Poetry


My friends do not see him
in this haven of healing
tall, yet conquered
like a staff bearing
his enemy’s flag
naught in his eyes but
ruined towers, dead horses,
a naked question.
Forgive me, he says
though his lips do not move.
I did not see.
A madness took me
its foot on my back
its claws in my neck
its wings in my ears
my hands rebelled
mutinous servants
of a master impounded.
I failed, little one,
I have suffered,
I have paid
in coins of lava and blood…

I smile, he approaches
as if bags of sand
were tied to his feet.
I hold out my hand
and he takes it
like a wounded bird
in both his own
as he sits by my side.
His hands, though strong,
are wounded birds also
fettered and thirsting.
The tenderness lodges
like wool in my throat
as I say, I know the wings
of that madness too well
I have failed also
my eyes were eclipsed.
The knowledge will snap
like a rabid dog
for all my days.
Forgive yourself, brother
you have done well.
I shall remember only
your valor, your tree
your love for your people
which commanded your steps
as it commanded my own
even as they strayed.
Our cities shine
in victorious mists
like a mother and child
newly born in a night
of fiendish travail.
Raise your flag,
be at peace.

He smiles then
and kisses my hand
pressing it hard
but I feel no pain
he takes it with him
like an irksome glove
it frets me no more.
Flocks of doves
rise from his eyes
and brush me with feathers
of sanity and music
as he recedes
into pools of skyshine
like an eagle
whose day
in the sun has arrived.


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Found in Home 5 Reading Room 5 Poetry 5 ~*~Wings~*~

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