Friday, April 8, 2016

"The Structures Beneath Us"

In honor of National Poetry Month, here is my original poem, "The Structures Beneath Us."

The Structures Beneath Us

And at the end all I can do is look back at what was,
recount small memories, safe moments,
Christmas Eve dinner with candles saved each year,
a trip to New York, dinner at the Plaza,
the Chinese tea room in San Francisco
filled with wooden cages of flitting finches
and sipping the brew of leaves picked by monkeys.
This is the point and time where I run my
hands and fingers over the structure
built under me, that elevates me to
where I am and what I must do.
I feel it like the blind reading Braille,
years, cities, apartments, schools, jobs
stacked onto each other, layered like geological ages in
sedimentary rock, it’s what I have,
a third grade drawing that won an award, a car trip to Stone Mountain,
curled up on the sofa watching Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street,
all these things that were I recount as a balm, a sedative, to soothe,
to shore up, to bolster before it crumbles and leaves a void.

And now all I do is recite an old phone number
a mantra,
a spell,
a prayer,
a plea.

©JEF 2016

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