The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton
Memories lie furtive beneath such solemn soil;
there is a gauze-like gathering of shadows,
tormented perfumes ascending from darker mists
than we would willingly know, an acceptance we must engage
without excuse, lest dreams ameliorate shadows' surrender
without defining their sharpened edges.
Sudden death asphyxiates innocence, aghast;
tenderness is expunged by unrelenting, arcane wisdom
adults seem to tether to their unyielding masts,
understanding these unutterable depths of ancient divinity.
Fierce fledglings know a secret whimper for mercy
as their wilder wings are excised by a casual brutality in their midst,
leaving only a brief flap's cruel echo behind before discovering
the eternal grace of flight, before their formidable spirits
are drained into more ethereal surroundings,
their blank eyes gazing into sun's bitter warmth.
Breath protracted, welts of courage blistered by calumny
steal pretentious thoughts from a child's mere gaze
upon the scythe's harrowing harvest;
their disenchantment becomes a brilliant amulet,
a sepia plea of volatile abstraction, a confiscation of destruction,
a spectre of darkness furrowed beneath silken flesh,
pristine bone inclined and gleaming under the dire demands of dusk,
a catastrophic realization of survival's futility
as silvery feathers are received to atrophy in dust -
another sycophantic lie perpetrated
upon the shining hopes of youth
once overflowing with color,
from too many maudlin, morose moments,
demoralized in their alignment,
swaying far away from truth.