Sunday, December 11, 2011

Primal Fear: Abandonment

 The time was night
A soft glowing whispering kind of night
That intimated all kinds of things, that remembered and foretold
Pink-tipped clouds danced in the wind promising tomorrow's brightness
That breeze stirred the pines to quiet conversation
Just beyond us
Its own proof of its occurrence but not of its significance
A murmur in a far-off room of a darkening house
An urgent muffled cry
Of pain or sorrow or love
Or perhaps the television quietly crackling
Keeping company
The drift of a song instantly on a car radio by night
Leaving just the memory of the music, or its rumor
A question: What was that song? What was I then
As far off as it is now, and was before
And I will be before I hear it again
Far ahead on the unlit highway a bobcat laps from a slick of deer's blood
But before you reach him he's gone
And white flying things flitter like spirits in the headlights
Formidable still the sun had lost its conviction
                     Does that make you lonely or sad? 
Equal parts summer's sweetness and winter's chill was the wind's secret
Shiver and sweat
A runnel of moisture on the back of the neck
And the smoky smell of leaves curling into themselves
                     In a rusty barrel
Surrounded by a silent man and boys in hoods, hands-a-pocket
Not so much warmed as enchanted by the tumbling fire
Sending their silent thoughts upward with the wispy silent souls
of the consumed leaves, never so splendid as in their dying
Ashes and cinder, cinder and ash
Oh oh oh, my daddy gone too

And the dusk became as imprecise as the season
Quivering with a faint alien expectation
So that even the most denatured creatures pricked up their ears
Stood stonestill and sniffed at what was being carried on the air
Listened watched waited
Hidden behind gauzy curtains
The stars assumed their places
And night gently fell
Bringing coldness and a surer sign

A boy of two played in the dust with his new toy
No no Tippy he warned the whitebooted cat who spied on him
from the windowsill
You can't come out here Tippy cause I'm out front with my daddy
This is the mighty mighty backhoe he said further explaining
Look't this Daddy he cried, explaining
Mighty mighty backhoe got shovel out front and bucket in back
It scoops up the dirt . . . put it in the gravel dumptruck
Haul it away
Mean old buzz buzz can't get me
Here I are
Sweet sweet milkbreathed boy with his eyes of blue
Knees bent, crouched with a child's grace, bottom dusting
the ground of his selfmade construction site
Parched patch where no flowers grow
Cuddly and playful as a little bear cub
Across the courtyard a neaighbor woman flung open the storm and yelled
The boy's head snapped to, his eyes cloudier than the sky
Something he already knew for the first time
There are sheep lost in the wilderness
And the wolves circle silently in the darkness
"Where Nessie is"
                          he asked, more concerned than she
"I don't know," said his father casually
Then, born again in the moment, life given for life taken,
settlement made on a debt:
"It's okay, Brian, don't worry, she's around"
"It's very dark," the boy had noticed
He looked around him hard and decided quickly
He picked up his things and took little determined steps to the door
"We go inside now. Cause it scare me."

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