a waterfall of sunlight,
wrought and woven by Elfin fingers
in the silver of a full moon,
wreathed in finespun, brass links
hammered into spirals by Dwarven smiths,
each aurelian strand kissed by Dragon fire,
each curling lock burnished by Nymphs,
each gilded tress blessed by Arianrhod:
my daughter’s hair
splaying out behind her,
its wildness tangling in sunrays
as it rides the spring air,
each bronzed tendril
holding the ransom to my soul.
Bright, red beads
splattering across the tiles,
chittering and protesting
they roll away–
my arms reaching for my
yet I can’t catch the redness
as it falls and rolls and bounces
into the shadows squatting beneath the couch.
“Stop, stop, my beads,” I squeal.
“I don’t care about your beads,” she says.
“But they’re my fav…”
I refuse to cry–
I refuse to let the crystal
brilliance of my tears
fall and roll and bounce behind my beads.
“I will spank you until you cry,” she says.
And because my soul was shattered anyway,
my tears soon followed
the crimson of my irretrievable beads,
while the shadows reached out
fingers to claim my heart,
clutching and hardening
somewhere between the cracked sidewalks
on Granby and Olney streets
while we sipped the
of Zeke’s organic coffee
and admired vivid splashes of artistry
dripping down buildings in the Neon District.
jay-walking across roadways between downtown buildings,
the sound of our laughter
trumping the Tide’s warning bell,
drunk off your wild scent
and the warm tease of your
intoxicating me in such close proximity.
somewhere between the Sriracha-drenched diablo burgers
on the patio at Colley Cantina
and daydreaming about our future,
free falling between the grasp of your
fingers and the curves your arms
always build around me.
I fall over myself,
at the least provocation
while you stroll unshakably,
reaching out a hand to steady me
until I feel like the hand-blown glass
from The Wheel House display,
bright fragments of me overlaying
your solidly mixed media,
catching all the brilliant glints of light
but standing fragile and exposed.
She could never find peace
and still hide the truth–
she couldn’t cover for Him
her whole life
even though she had buried it,
an angry grit of sand
she had polished
till the pain had become bearable.
But that pearl swelled,
dark and iridescent,
a constant reminder of ugliness,
her being yearning for its release until–
one day, no matter the sheen of its coating,
she ejected the malignance
she had been forced to succor.
With that she became the enemy
who had dared to purge herself of injustice–
she became the pariah–
the black sheep–
the family whore–
she became a stained vessel
who was deemed a malicious liar
for breaking the implicit silence.
She bespoiled the family name
because it would have been just fine
if she had kept His secret,
buried the night a family member
pillaged her innocence and
forgotten the betrayal
she had wrestled with her entire life.
That pearl of wisdom,
as dark as the crime,
the color she had made into her mantle
the day she broke her silence–
the day her family disowned her
for the crime of having been a child
who didn’t want to rock the boat,
but then becoming an adult
who let go a tsunami.
Darkness trailed it’s tail
down the length of my spine–
loneliness, a creature that hunted me
as I raced through bayous and scraggly, pine fields,
sidestepping writhing moccasins,
their mouths colored with the cotton from the fields–
hiding from the demons in my family
and the trolls charging tolls across all the bridges out–
a lonely child, baking in the red clay,
whittled down to my core
until even the coyotes steered clear–
My one solace a ribbon of silver
trailing from the belly of the sky–
the whimsical moonlight bathing my landscape in magic,
etching her will upon the rolling delta,
dressing my skin in fairy sparkles,
chasing away the darkness with a pagan comfort,
sliding her caress along my backbone–
the only solace I ever knew
subduing the darkness,
the only strength I ever had
shoring me up with molten silver,
the face of that southern moon
the only mother I ever remember.