The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton
I don't recall the rough, gnarled hands
of the nun who delivered me like a promise
or wrapped me in swaddling like a song.
These wanton bones succumbed to an apparent perjury of sunlight,
forsaking the privacy of death for the privilege of birth.
An odd bliss was cleansed from my newborn eyes,
easing me into bold truth - a disdain I have yet to forget or forgive.
A gruesome frost grew around me, rejecting the feast of my flame.
This sullen significance did not surrender to memory’s fading colors.
A mere moment of rare seduction distilled an eternity,
creating chaos from order.
There is nothing quite as hollow as the quiet echo
of near-empty sheets rustling with alone, an ample sea.
I even missed the stony silence of a back bent with anger,
hoping for restless shadows to turn,
forgetting wrath, seeking solace from my trembling touch.
Disowned, I wandered, lost to love’s knowledge, bereft of liberty.
I don’t remember her well-worn face,
that sister of many and bride to only one -
when she greets me at the garden gate, I shall softly smile
as I howl my tempest upon her heart.
She could have warned me with a muttered curse
or warmed me with a burgeoned blessing
instead of retreating into her silent reverie,
leaving me stranded - solo -
inside the bitter arms of a beautiful, disquieting world.