STRIKING BONE: A RENGA
Lost? Yes, again the stars fall
on 13th Street where a house, now demolished,
was my home. I was young.
Funeral dirges sound from the new building
and hearses ferry the dead to and from. I was young
and swung on the backyard tire swingone late October afternoon under red leaves
drifting like red stars to my feet.
I was young and then I was gone like the house.
An old woman remains in my place.
When I remember you,
my thoughts do not bring
you back from the dead; no
amount of nostalgia could
reanimate your body.
You were a just a thoughtonce: mother’s eyelashes,
father’s cigarette smoke.
Memory cannot make you
again, like their lust once did.
But 89 years
should have been enough
to leave a trail, an imprint
stronger than birds' feet on sand,
or mice darting from baseboards.
Still this does not mean
I will stop looking for you,
You are in my sheets
I pull back at night,
my dreams, even before I fall asleep.At my breakfast table you are
the drink that touches my lips.
As I leave home each day,
the breath I can't quite catch.
Yet, only the aura of its frame
Pulses and gives life with a heartbeat
Breathe, Breathe, Breathe, I say.
Don’t live among the memories
Death is no place to be, I say.
As old as the stars,
My eyes wash the empty space,
Tears for memory.
What was lost, I fight to find again,
Slow, slow my breath and sight.
Wherever I sit, back and forth,
You are there in the heart's
echo, the blood's ping striking bone,
memory's temple where the magpie
settles on my shoulder
after a long flight from home.
© 2013 Denise Low. Reprint permission may be granted for non-commercial uses. Please contact Mammoth Publications for further information--mammothpubs [at] gmail.com