Thursday, October 18, 2012

Western Arkansas

His mother, who carried him nine months
through Arkansas’ Egyptian darkness,
past Isis and Thoth and pharoahs’ coffins,
and built the narrow passages death took
after life, all this he might comprehend
without making so much as a wild guess
where the thunder came from, and he hid
his face between his mother’s breasts
and she breathed her consoling whispers
in his tiny ears, while lightning struck
in its zig-zag pattern a skill saw makes,
and the sound of the rain amid her warmth
made him hungry for a future as far
from here as he could find and his own wife
wildering her willowy body
until more peals of thunder, lightning cracks
God sends to surround little boys and girls
whose mother will die into her next sleep
with their father, having washed his body
in water she empties when coaldust swirls
and the tub must be refilled, until dawn
when the day begins over again
and maybe another storm if the sounds
of the deep woods quiet and he knows why
these nights begin and end beyond his reach.

(18 October 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander

No comments:

Post a Comment