Monday, October 19, 2015

does she dare?

I was invited to write a piece in response to a painting for an exhibit at the Family Court. The theme of the exhibit, consisting of 11 paintings by Betty Dore, is domestic violence. Today was the reception and we writers were invited to read our pieces. Below is the poem I wrote in response to the painting. The first line contains the words on the painting.

cautiously she approaches the edge of Dread.

does she dare?
does she dare step over the line?

she has looked that way so many times,
snuck closer
when she thought
she was alone.
but then
a butterfly startles,
or birdsong,
or blossoms,
and she runs,
cowering in fear of hope.

she knows Dread.
born in this town, she feels her way through it,
            steels her way, avoiding traps sometimes,
she knows the rhythms of this place
            the beats that will signal just when she will hurt,
            the pauses that guide her to moments of rest

then without warning the tempo starts again
so frantically
she can’t keep up,
can’t keep up,
can’t breathe,
can’t breathe,
can’t ―

her body knows ROYGBIV,
and not in that order.

in Dread silence,
whispers from hope
discover her.

does she know them?

murmurs greet,
she’s never been there,
sounding sweet,
maybe once as a child,
move her feet,
or in a dream,
is she wrong?
edges fading, blurry brightness,
but she longs,
walking into blinding fright,
it’s her song,
in Dread she never needs to shade her eyes,
            it’s her song.
but Hope blazes.

She stands,
eyes closed,
and lets her feet follow the pulse
She knows in her soul.

and when She arrives at the edge,

            She stops,

opens her eyes,
slowly lets them

the colors make sense.
and the birds.

and She dares,

steps forward.

dread behind her,
Hope her new home,   

where the butterfly becomes her friend.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Autumn Lesson

In autumn 
            the trees
show us the beauty in endings,
in liberating pieces of ourselves,
our lives,
                        without fear.

In brilliant style
            celebrations of lives well-lived
                                    let go,
                        gracefully float to become
the stuff of parties –
confetti for the child,
noisemakers crunching under feet,
            leaf beds for jumping and
raucous play.
She disturbs her parent too serious,
too focused on work,
no time for play,
for pause,
                        for noticing the splendor
of death on the ground.
Tree feathers shed
raw beauty,
bare truth.

Rest in the long darkness.
Embrace mortality,
sacred cycles:

Green will come again.