Memory slams me hard into that night:
The lovely jewels of light across the bay,
The cold sharp air, the scrape of loneliness,
And blood too young to own I don’t belong.
Who can admit their mismatch,
At sixteen, when the heart cries out to know?
Many such nights
Of scrabbling effort, slow leaks of despair,
And laughter, quickly flashed, to hide it all.
What was the game they played with confidence?
I stood aside, I did not know the rules,
And, even less, knew where to find them out,
Or how to hide pathetic ignorance:
The pain of being other in their world,
But knowing I would rather wear that pain
Than stay behind in my grim solitude,
Rapunzel without hair, Aurora caught
In claustrophobic, long insomnia.
No photos live
Of that strange time, half chicken and half egg,
Half thorn, half flower, all an unripe fruit,
Still gagging on the marrow of my days,
And yet afraid that supper would come round
Without a place at table set for me:
The slideshow is still vivid in my head,
And how I thought the fault was all my own.
Pardon and peace
Flowed with the tears that washed those gritty years
And cleaned their gravel rash upon my soul
That I might heal with just faint silver lines
To trace the shape of a remembered pain,
And learn afresh the solace I have foundDeep in the heart of Love that bid me be.