Thursday, October 17, 2013

Poem: Christening

a rough draft 

From about half a year ago.  Strike-through and red text are edits.  Gentle constructive criticism is welcome and appreciated!

Hush now, sleep.
Don't dream straw that burns
into gold, that diabolical
transformation. Death's bitter taste Bitter death
coated the back of my throat.
I couldn't fathom the scent
of skin-and-milk,
the heat of sweat-stained cheeks
in fitful sleep, after our intimate
                    Oh, God! 
                                   I would have traded
even you
to usurp nature’s sovereignty. 
Forgive me. 
I thought I wanted to hold magic
in my hands. I didn’t know
true magic dozes
out of reach and hums
itself the old stories, tracing
illuminated letters, growing toes
and fingers.  
                         You curl
your fist near your temple;
lashes skitter. Hush
little baby, I will scale
towers without doors, sift
lentils from soot and cinder,
wear out three pairs of iron shoes, cross
the briar-tangled border into wilderness
to and lay down my power;
ransom back the blood-token;
find the name
                         that will set you free.

Elenore Abbott



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