Gasps
Friday, April 14, 2006
 
THE GLASS CHATELAINE

Suddenly, the castle
is all glass--

the walls, the roofs
the turret

and all contained
within. In her glass

gown she glides
down the long hallway

until she reaches
the mirror.

Glass on glass:
face of invisibility.

She bows
as she drops a tear

she cannot see
but hears when

it fragments against
granite turned glass.

"Hearing is the last
sense to die."

But when her hand
falls to her side

and touches the key
hanging from her waist

she feels the harsh
grit of antique metal.

She clutches
the gritty surface,

welcomes the bite
of rough iron

against flesh--not
glass! O, how the hand

often bears
its own mind,

an Other for
intention-ridden brain.

As when you write
a poem on X, only

to say Y or Z or A.
The familiar path begets

the courage to raise
chin, then eyes

even as she dreads
another glass reflection.

Still not her face.
but what skids the mind

is her father's flesh.
His lips move

to promise, "You
will never crack."

Suddenly, the castle
is again of stone,

warm against her
bare, non-glass feet.

Wooden doors open
along the hallway,

each revealing
a dog or cat--

happy eyes and oh-so-pink
tongues amidst furs

as warm as red velvet
and her father's gaze.

My turn, she thinks
with her glass brain.

To hurt is to
feel is to live.

My turn, she thinks.
She thinks, My turn!

The thorn-ridden stemg
rows into a rose


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