Poem for the cloud ceiling


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What was

 

truth is dark medicine

with a teaspoon of honey

I swallow hard

keep it down

and it will set me free

 

forget everything, they say

forget what lies behind, run the race

redemption for

a half-life of lies

 

instead I’m mudlarking

hip waders swamped

by stagnant water

sucked into detritus

where turtles burrow

slow and silent in the dark

 

this is the way, they said

I was too young to argue

fight back

hindsight is tree tangled

deadfall

sun hazed and glaring

what have they done to me

what have they done?

 

masters of fence lines topped

in barbed wire, ripped flesh

hung as a warning

this is the way, they said

this is the only way

 

I am not a victim

I was gone

long before

the last word

shun

 

God loves me

God loves me not

God loves me

 

I was a good girl, scars

on fire with holiness

who are you to say otherwise?

 

LAE2017

 

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Release


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Nothing prepares you

in the beginning when he wails into night’s quiet hours

and maybe it’s not about him needing you that much

more about him being mad

to be pushed from warm nest into cold world.

Still you do what you can, breast to soft mouth, arms wrapped

tight against everything. You let go in small ways

like a bandage being torn slowly from scab over wound

you feel how he forgets to look back

that first time at the playground, how he smiles wider

with his friends. It’s what you do. Nobody tells you exactly how.

You order each memory in a scrapbook, smooth down his life captured

in a thousand framed stories

and wonder how seventeen years can lay out so well on the page

while inside

you are ragged edged, coming unglued.

 

Considering the upcoming High School Graduation of my son, Malcolm James Evans, whom I am especially fond of.

SDG, Lesley-Anne

Poetry Friday029


Rosehips

Rosehips remind me of Grandpa, and
how we once drove all the way down Yonge Street to
Thompson’s Homeopathic Supplies.
We brought home pills, tinctures
to prevent and heal chronic and acute ailments.
He said the bottles contained things that would
clarify the blood, make grey hair disappear,
eat a tumor, make her walk again.
He fed her handfuls of vitamins every day
swallowed hope himself with his morning tea.

Come to think of it, long after she was gone
he lived like age was relative, an after-thought.
Saw the doctor first when he was 92
wide-eyed, untouched, somewhat surprised that
there might be something wearing out by now.

I flew in from B.C. to see him,
told him I was pregnant with our third child.
Lying in the hospital bed
he moved his leg like it was still there
Kept asking me
when he could go home.

October 2010

Poetry Friday020


Hydrangea blooms as a measure of success

As if the chartreuse flower heads of my Annabelle Hydrangea are any indication of gardening prowess, as if size matters.
I did nothing, but you keep telling me that I have something extraordinary in my yard.
Like when it comes to keeping tabs on who does what first, and measuring revelations of God.
I look at my garden and find weedy seeds of envy taking root.
Tell me, who has the bigger sin?

I used to worry less and find happiness with eyes closed and mind open.
I’m certain I once created a masterpiece with a single stroke of Hansa Orange on a page.
A thousand of my brother’s hockey cards clothes-pinned to the spokes of my purple bike was a symphony, wheels turning round and round as I rode, hands off and helmet-less, down the crescent of my suburban street.

As if that were enough to stave off universal laws of time and gravity.
As if The Fall wouldn’t touch me,
Apple juice running down the curve of my young chin.

Lesley-Anne Evans
August 2010