With quavering breath,
you gently lift the dutch wood door
that carries the one who sleeps inside,
the one who just yesterday you kissed,
the one who understood your strangeness,
the chaos and cobwebs on your tangled mind,
those delphian orbs and Seraphims
that whisper into that empty space,
incarcerated by Life’s splintered cross.
And gone now, be the only one
who loved you, sheltered you
from life’s cruel intentions,
a maternal love bearing-
no exceptions nor limits.
Who will care for me now, you question your self,
though your answer is lost in the question.
You really shouldn’t have come here today,
‘The service and burial too much to grasp,
said the institutions patient report.
You dream at night, and the voices are louder
than the whispers you hear when the sky can be seen.
I miss you, son, -an old voice murmurs
as you lay down your tarry in quiet confusion,
staring up at the crusted ceiling
from your strapped-down supine position,
studying…the plaster varicose veins
that stretch across the top of the room,
that suddenly remind you
of road-maps and boundries
of memories and places
traveled in time-
for a moment in time
and again, you are somewhere else, far away.
Affixing on shadows,
you present queer expression
from distorted grey images
crossing your eyes,
harboring deep within your brain,
pricking your spine by its nerve-endings
like a seamstresses darning needle;
And the needle jogs a clarion flash
as you segway to another time
where your mum is cooking broiled scrod
in her Bean Street Boston kitchen,
watching the fluttering stove flame,
sparkle in blue and orange;
What are you doing, mummy, you ask?
Mummy sees her little boy has a splinter,
and you know you can’t keep it,
so mummy will take it.
She takes the metal tongs,
pinches the needle at its head,
says, ‘mummy would never hurt you’;
now I need to see that finger
and pull that nasty splinter,
while you pray to the Archangel Raphael,
to give you courage, ..you pray, now, son.
Oh! Mummy, it burns! It burns!
So hot…hot as a matchstick tip,
[one just freshly struck
so affectingly that his tongue
could taste the smoking sulfur
with Mummy’s every stroke,
and success always ended with a hug,
a kiss, and some key lime pie.
Who will know where the needles are,
you try tapping your mind’s earlier years.
NO-ONE! – says the Modigliani-
hanging on the pale pea green wall,
a stunning sleek woman, staring like stone
with her white empty sockets… darting.
She’s with the sleeping now
where all good mummy’s go,
and thats how love in Death must be
beyond the pine, outside the crypt…
as you attempt to exist within the space
that narrows so fast and disturbing,
upon the harboring of Fear within you.
Copyright © MMXVII-
Frank James Ryan, Jr.
All rights reserved