...I plow through each day’s heft and mystery, plant one foot before the other. / Anxious, trembling, the heart’s a poorly paid clerk, racing against the clock./...Let’s you and I walk before nightfall’s murk, ignoring the clock. ---From Mid-Year Ghazal by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa 07-04-12
Here is that time mocking me now: I am mostly careful.
When I walk through empty rooms, I plant one foot
before the other, hoping I have a steady ground to step
upon before rattling cupboard ware to announce fright
before it wraps me into a cocoon of dread and disaster.
Did I learn anything from past wounds? Do I have scars
to show for them? I peep into darkened bedrooms, not
unlike tyro thieves who would not know what lustre
colours precious stones, or which heirloom is worth it all,
I see her toss and turn to quickly hide a tear-stained face.
Oh, that I could take your pounding heartache from you,
my child, and rip it out from where it has stabbed you
unawares and made you bleed all this time, all this time.
If I could bring him back to you that he might sing you
those lullabies he left unsung, I will. But I would die, too.
Yet I would, if you could escape this nightfall gloom
that tears at you like a rabid jackal, a twin to your lizard
on the ceiling that in your nightmares grows huge enough,
serpentine enough, to swallow you into yet another hole
where you dream to see your father bravely rescuing you.
Let’s just walk away from that hole now, he will not come.
Neither you nor I would make for a damsel in distress.
---Albert B. Casuga