We are tempted to make of the man
an angel, the dark one, endlessly falling,
his nimbus of flame like wings,
but this angel is wingless. He flies on pain.
We follow the path of his descent
and his suffering draws from us
an endless feminine response
to the agonies of men. We want
to share our wealth, to restore
health to the sick, to return
the earthly goods of the robbed,
to find the lost, feed the starved,
reclaim the feral wanderer,
alone in the wilderness.
He spits back the songs of strangers.
He twists in his memory our words
with those of less eloquent supplicants.
He carves his flesh with needles,
while we burn offerings
on the altar of his disdain.
Still, we believe in the gift he scorns,
our Lazarus touch, our secret conviction
that, yes, we have it within us,
the power to resurrect the withered soul.
Hidden in the temples of our hearts,
arranged among our sweetest yearnings,
our tender traps, our wrath at rejection,
there it is, the poignant, painful hope;
we all believe we might have been the one.
Karen Berry lives and works in Portland, Oregon. She is abetted in her creative endeavors by strong coffee, small dogs and endless rain. Her reviews, poems and fiction are published in the US and Canada. She is the author of one novel and co-author of another.
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