Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sheaths and Shrouds




The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton







There are cruel severings we must contend with, 
wretched silences which deafen us
to the thrum of what remains
after dusk has overwhelmed our eyes. 

We gain before we lose, no matter
what hues of sorrow grieving may weave
beneath our pale, parched bones — we trace outlines of shadows 
that beckon laughter away from our outstretched arms, 
steals the light
from voices longing for reprieve. 

We linger on an unmarked periphery,
more languid spirit than striding substance, 
trying to fill our hearts with something far more gentle
than the drifting sounds of autumn leaves.

Wings of hyacinths folded around my shivering frame
as I quietly read what I'd written for you — 
when I could bear to lift my eyes from their swiftly-rising rivers, 
I saw your face and gasped, not quite understanding
the vision shimmering before me.

We were in a dim, candle-lit room; 
yet, golden illuminations poured between you and the sky, 
an ethereal ceiling hovering between each breath — 
it was as if you heard wild whispers
descended from above that shaped its halo around you. 

At that moment, I knew you loved me once. 

After you fell into into a dark song's embrace, I tried to remember this — 
there were too many moments when I failed.