The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton
Once, I thought I knew her well - as I held her cautiously,
she quietly wept under shivering boughs,
those brutal beasts only she could see stood sentinel,
vast and ripe with knowing;
neither of us could comprehend the slow tearing of our hearts,
broad fingers unable to remember the gravity of unsolicited yearnings.
Shuttered by rapture, we tripped over petrified stones;
she rattled her beautiful bones even then,
in morbid anticipation, I suppose.
Gravity curled beneath a moment’s hesitation
as we shuddered inside such delicate depths,
our eyes frail with chaotic dusk.
Tomorrow would survive our bitterly clasped hands,
although we doubted it all with our impervious smiles;
shivering echoes hovered, still between each pause of uncertainty.
Mythology had no answers for our insolent inquiries;
the pale moon moaned weakly, held aloft in a dark sky
bereft with songs of muted stars.
It was a miracle to survive this onslaught of time,
to have ridden these discerning waves into shore.
I was not immune to an inevitable bartering for breath
she surrendered so fiercely, so casually.
The shadows invariably gave way to sunlight,
if only for a brief moment.
Who of us can truly possess undimmed clarity?
We merely dance.
The grave will finally separate
even the best and brightest among us
from this inadequate sheath of flesh.