Thursday, January 06, 2011

First poem of 2011: Considering


No screams show on the map, though you know

they hide there, perhaps below the cryptic markings,

the dragons, mermen and tridents. Red

bleeds the tattered edges of terror. Jagged, the ink

hemorrhages into the long fibers of the map’s rough paper.

The ink burns the flesh of your fingertips when you reach

to locate the memories. You stand on that cliff looking

down, twitching your shoulders for wings, but this isn’t

a dream. This is your life; each breath catapults you closer

to his opened fists, his fingers poised at your neck

ready to close. Suppose you ran? Who can explain

the geography of the heart, the way the blood and ink

of your story is ground from the same DNA as his father’s

and his father’s father’s? Observe how your own father

holds hands with his father; conjoined twins—they connect

at the out-thrust jaw. Note how together, they caress the map.

They paint your name across a heart with a blade suspended

above it. Small stars indicate honing, and the tip

draws to point sharper and smaller than the baby toe

of a flea. From the map’s margins, they erase your face

with your tears. When wind fills with the taste

of iron and fear, and you consider your options, you take

one small step toward a topography of rock,

shattered promises and silence.

Mary Stebbins Taitt

for Peter, Joseph and “the General,” with love

110106-1537-1c(3), 110106-1023 1sr—1st poem of 2011

Second poem of 2011 (a Haiku):

Sweeps of Blue

Like simple brushstrokes,

snowflakes whisper over drifts,

pile in arching curves.

Mary Stebbins Taitt


bluerose said...

Amazing how you bring the map to life, and then evolve it into generations of behavioral patterns that "erase your face". So sad and beautifully written.

I really like the Haiku, too. I think I'll write one for "Weekword" also.

Christine E-E said...

you have such a variety of talents! the vivid descriptions in your "map" poem are very intriguing...
writing a Haiku is about as creative with writing as I get... I admire your work!