Sunday, February 17, 2013

poem for kate

The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton

Godspeed your journey as this ache abounds, 
for the sun rises and falls so swiftly these days.

The severity of the landscape is daunting, 
I know, and shadows lengthen as we watch.

When the harbor shifted, 
boats were lost to such terrible tides - 
bridges were burned as tender for a coming storm.

Still, birds soar beneath fierce clouds, unafraid, 
preparing for the worst of it. 

They know where shelter might be found,
remember how leaves curl 
just before wind and rain strike.

No one ever said life is fair, or dull.
Monotony is sometimes a good place to hide
from typhoons that would sink a smaller raft.

Survival traces our skin with wounds,
craving a deeper remembrance 
than we would offer, given a choice.

Walking the tightrope is a hazardous vocation -
it is up to us to weave those nets 
that would save us 
from succumbing 
to gravity's ferocious demands.

There are many reasons for what we do not do.

There are many excuses that would let us falter,
as human as we are and must become -
we tremble with chaotic courage, 
immersed in glorious fractures of flame.

We are not helpless
as long as we have a single breath left 
surging from beneath our curvéd bones

and there is a hand held out to us,
somewhere in the distance,
marking the edge of a brand-new shore.