Monday, October 20, 2008

The Harmonies of Grief, with footnote

The Harmonies of Grief,
How Luisa and Geraldine Sing the Dirge

Luisa screams and screams. Blood gushes
from a gash on her forehead, her right arm hangs
limp at her side and a ripped section of her dress flops
blood-damp around her thighs in the wind. She sits
among pale emeralds of shattered glass, holds Jake
with her left arm, and rocks him. Squeezes him.
Jake lolls on her arm. She screams, sobs. Subsides
to silent weeping. Then screams again. Geraldine crawls
on the hot sand to kneel beside Aunt Luisa, stares at Uncle Jake
and wails. She lays a hand on Aunt Luisa and one on Uncle Jake.
His skin is warm, but his head hangs crookedly
to the side. It looks wrong. Geraldine wails and sways,
wails and sways. She pitches her keening to harmonize
with Aunt Luisa’s. But Aunt Luisa bleeds; her arm dangles.
Geraldine stands, loses her balance, falls, stands again,
and crosses the sand. She climbs the bluff toward the road.
Every few feet, she slides back, but she persists. Flags
down a car. Waits for the ambulance. The paramedics
cover Jake’s face, but Aunt Luisa uncovers it to give him
a kiss. Then kisses him again. Jake’s car rests upside down
on the beach. As the paramedics raise the stretchers
up the bluff, gulls descend to Jake’s potato chips,
scattered in an arc across the sand.

(scattered[1] in an arc across the sand.)

Mary Stebbins Taitt

--------This line and everything below this line is not part of this poem.--------
081018-2145-4a; 081016-2153-3a; 081015-2235-2a; 081014-2335-1st, an attempt at a 20-line E-prime poem for Dawn’s class, due Monday, October 21.

[1] There is an invisible state of being verb in this final phrase: (which are) scattered in an arc across the sand. I could edit it to read:

up the bluff, gulls descend to Jake's potato chips. The impact

scattered them in an arc across the sand.

Imagine, perhaps, that for the sake of the exercise, I did that, and let me know which you prefer.

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