Thursday, June 21, 2012

woman without a landscape

woman without a landscape

she walks barefoot in the garden
never minding the sharp edged leaves
occasionally they cut her toes, jamming her
like the razor sharp tongues and boulder fists of cruel men
who scarred her.

it startles her, the way old pain does
she remembers it well, every hurt that tamed her irises
hits her like a thousand paper cuts
to her fragile vellum skin.

those blades of grass on the backs of her calves
whooping her like her drunken father with his leather belt.

she takes great care here in playing pretend
she's become something
not quite a human being now; exactly else.

she lives with the glow of tiki lamp light
and kerosene oil perfumes her feather white hair
so does the jasmine

and the dirty piles of carrots
reeking of her own sure death,
she bends over, wildly pulling them

like a doctor tugging a breach baby
from a birth canal,
the pressure of the shoulders
and waiting on that scream she notes-
'it all was so rushed', she pushed too soon
and the silence was so startling

that her heart nearly sank when they smiled
in that consoling sort of way that she recognized right away
as being far too calm to sustain new life.

she looked down,
confronted with blue eyes, two sky blue skies

alive, yes, not a sound, just tracing the world staring it down
like he knew even then how criminal it had been to his mother all along.

and the fish bowl gasp was heard even down the hallway from all the nurses
and the doctor too, calmly tucking his grief pamphlet back into his pants pocket.
they wrapped him; never one sound came from that child
it must have been months before he let out a sound, she recalled.

it is in that silence reclaimed, that she remembers the other children she lost,
as she pricks her thumb,

a heavy clot of red gel reminds her of her hand between her thighs cradling small deaths
fainting in that long emergency hall, too far to walk the yards that surely come and come
without wait.

her quietness craved silence.

years came and went,
she wetted the lettuce so carefully, each leaf by hand with a damp towel.
amnesia set in like a misty spider web creating an impression
of her former faces as she walked through it, it became a nylon mask she tore away.

she forgot her age again.
no matter, it’ll come to her later on, with the epiphany of
what day of the week it is.

she sprinkled the heartier plants from a watering can
drops fell like small clear grains, amounting, and slipping.
not a bruise

not a bent stem nothing to disturb
the proud rosettes of frilly green,
she drops the can, panic sets, it’s the last day of kindergarten she finally remembers him where she left him,

time to get the boy ready, big day, he’ll be performing in the gym
'each of us is a flower growing in life’s garden',
she whistles the song as she fades,
and the landscape becomes more and more obscure.

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