Wednesday, April 17, 2013

History Lesson


Here's day seventeen's submission of NaPoWriMo (a poem a day for the month of April in honor of National Poetry Month):



History Lesson


I have been studying history tonight.

I dragged out old journals,
collections of bad poetry,
newspaper clippings,
faded photographs, and words.
Words my hand wrote.

Words that frown from pages
of decades past, and
surge at me out of a dark
I turned a long shoulder to,
or so I thought.

They fill me with water
that rises
a cup, a quart, a gallon,
to a boil.

I can hear screams
forced into the hidden box
buried in my father’s garden,
and I am caught in their wind.

A cloud descends
upon me like a storm,
its chill touch
crawls up my back,
presses and pushes
until I cannot breathe:

Remember me?

Of course.
Long nights
under the bed
with dust-ball spiders;
behind a locked door  -
flies buzzing at the window,
or scrambling to a basement corner -
dirt floors and crumbling masonry,
where a shadow walks past the door
at the top of the stairs.


When you sort it out alone
you become weightless,
at the mercy of whatever mean wind
rustles the corn.

You spend your time
holding your breath.

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