Their tragedy opened ancient wounds.
Long ago fossilized in thick lead vaults
(Have you ever seen Napoleon’s tomb?).
Now pain is exhumed as the heat of loss melts
Glaciers’ frigid layers into streaky puddles.
Aqua tears flow into forgotten gullies.
Now it’s knotted stomach and fitful sleep.
Isn’t this the definition of Advent?
Or reclaimed doughy tenderness?
The price of ubiquitous window peering.
“Vicarious pain is real,” said the missing limb.
Now those crusty lacerations bleed thick fresh
Blood oozing red, raw and open in the new heat.
And dreams touchably vivid in anthropomorphized
Humiliation and sympathetic sadness steep black.
Now I’ve picked sides (my side).
But as a wise man said back when my heart was torn out
“The fact that the sympathizers like you better only goes so far.”
So I’m sad for me (or her) all over again.
Immersed in kaleidoscopic granite truth
Just over there floats the intricate story
As widening eyes accelerate sad departure
Leaving full sensation and leaking particulars
Beyond reach as cloudy ghosts dance
Lush details race through a hedgerow maze
Fading veiled memory sprinkles foggy crumbs
Weighty yearning loss
In sleep and that dreamy state
Sleepiness before sleep sets in
A mysterious rope ladder hanging
Barely within reach swaying slightly
White rungs and gray rope falling
From darkness a black cloud obscuring
All but the lowest bars nothing but
White emptiness surrounding the
Swinging in half sleep I imagine
Lithely leaping to grab the lowest
Rung strongly steadily climbing hand
Over hand (I’m a younger woman climbing
But it’s my dream) towards the unknown
My fear of heights forgotten and absent
The natural swinging away from each step
Challenge that a rope ladder tends to pose
Neither obstacle materializes when the
Reaching and climbing begins
Though I feel strong and capable
I never progress beyond a few steps
More often though in my sleepy daze
It’s just the mystery ladder hanging
An unknown purpose