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Thu Jun 20, 2013, 08:10 AM

Poems on Kindness in a Time of War

Ophelia


I await my daughter's return to me
but balance shifts and becomes imbalance
and all powers fail to return the balance
decay sets in
the spring of the clock loosens
and only entropy remains
what was once immutable and sacred
is changed and corrupted.

How much of the fault lies within
within the mother within the daughter within me
this cannot be contemplated
would I find fear in place of duty
and which duty is required
the protection the lesson the release
and in what part of me is the answer
the mind the soul the heart.

The first time my daughter drowned
I caught her easily
and whisked her away from the danger
the pounding heart belied the steady voice
and fear like bile rose in my throat
but after I'd swallowed even I could pretend
that nothing had occurred
and all was at peace again

The second time she drowned
was not so easy
I scrabbled hard across the rocks
cutting deep blood tingeing the water
but was it for her or for me
that I flung myself and with bloodslick hands
pulled her forth
wondering if I should let her free.

And then she drowned a third time
and I wasn't there
and the waters took her away
and when I saw her body
picture perfect yet left of life
my soul exploded like a hollow thing
a heart of ash crumpled in my chest
but I never knew for whom this occurred.

In the balance in dreams
I see my arrival before she is gone
watching unsure in motionless motion
I see her face descending
the hand the fingers flicker
and all time stops
drowning always drowning
with her fingers always out of reach.

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