One Hundred and Twenty-Four.

4/5/14

Izzy circle

izzy

I got a fighter jet for my birthday
Tony delivered it to my door personally
slapped his hand in mine with a grin like metal bullets
made me pinky promise not to tell the folks next door

*

Sarah circle

sarah

There are the machines
The lights, the tubing, the metal and the plastic
The tear-streaked family, watchful and breathless
Searching wide-eyed for the wizened old body tangled in lines
Like some great desiccated fish
The shuddering mess of elbows and knees
That was their mother
(Grandma to the silent, staring mop of four-year-old curls
Clutching at her father’s hand)
And there are the strings
Taut and ready between a vast heart of wood
Whose burnished gold reflects the sleepless, lidless blinking
Of the hundred sightless, watchful lights
And a young woman, soft-lipped, sweet-voiced and steady
Lifts her harpist’s hands and plays
And the sound is like sunlight
Like daybreak
Like fingers trailed through a field of dandelions
Like wool-wrapped lovers ice skating across a lake
Like the dust that floats across stained glass windows
Like a string of sweet caresses in the moment before waking
Like the way she pushed their hair from their faces
As they tumbled, dog-tired, into childish sleep
The sound is water
And as they watch the face of the woman who bore them
They know she is stepping into that swiftest of rivers
From whose currents she will not return
And as those perfect lined old eyes, creased as an old sheet
Turn towards the water
They clutch her hand, to walk her through the shallows
So that she may not cast off alone
And as the strings sing their blessing
They kiss their mother’s cheek, the warmest place they ever knew
And watch her breath melt out as her head goes under
And as the music dies away
The silence is as loud as applause

*

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