The Voice of the Dispossessed

It will sound to you like our bare feet
pounding fissured lands, dancing for rain --

And then it will be precise strikes
against rosewood, a flash of cymbals,

but in the end, dry lips shape- 
sift into drier beds, our harvest

baskets empty for another season. 
Death is reasoning.

At first, its beginning is small. 
A blackbird, a protective lover praying

you will not notice the black bloat, 
the stiff feathers, the broken beak.

But you see it, almost too late, 
and there is a pause filled with a void,

a voice that can murmur only, 
"No . . ."

Then death grows bigger, a hallucinated
figure in the bedchamber's corner, a man

whose eyes follow you, as surely
as a work of art. Yet there is no beauty to save you.

You think, "Grandmother sings to other children now, 
Grandfather writes stories of souls . . .

Brother did not drown." 
He swam to the Sun itself,

kept on swimming, grabbed onto the rays
of that radiant floatation device, and kicked,

sprinkled, and splashed every last blossom, 
bloom, and root into sweet, cyclical existence.


Published in Red Fez.

From Graphite to Watercolors