Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Shaking Hands with Death

I don’t need
to shake your hand
We’re already
well acquainted

I banged on the nursery glass for three days
while you tortured little niece
Not content with torn hearts in January
you Marched on Jack

I broke my nails grabbing for you –
too late you slipped past the tree
where his car and my fingers
felt your splinters

My pregnant fist in your face
with the baby’s six week crisis
You skulked away then
but haunt every day he lives

I released
with relief
when Ali fell down
to heaven

I tried to push you away
as I guarded mother
and you said
“Don’t touch me.”

With Dad I slapped you
and he slipped
right through
my fingers to yours

In every night you taunt me
I fall, I search, I grieve
for all you have taken
loved ones, beloved dreams

Yes, I’ve touched you often
You’ve lived with me
As I finger the tear-catching hole
Where my heart used to be.


Judith said...

Oh, boy, Joyce. This is just as powerful as I heard it Saturday. Wonderful piece. Very powerful.
If it is considered published, try Word Guild Poetry Contest? Not sure if this would count?

(or save it for next Utmost contest! - Also possibly
Antigonish Review? Penwood REview?
or Prairie Messenger.

melora9 said...

This is a loaded piece! I'm sure many would identify with your pain. I'd sure like to take this one apart with you listening to Alain Caron at the Jazz Cafe.