A Woodland Crown On Mary’s Story

Poetry

To Mary Blackwell

I came to the forest in the knot of my mind,
The fields on the moor of my soul,
To live deliberately. Now two years of nurture
For the child heart, crystallising past
Lessons treated it by others, leave dirt
Between calloused toes: a reset ankle
Sits edge but swelling safe with pride
Like fingers and thumbs clicking
Auburn rhythms. I find Greek island romance
Nestling with my own, Carlos sometimes
Filling my veins blood or drug or ink
Spilling onto pages from neon fingertips,
And the dreams, my gazetted educator,
The dreams of eye-play with Flavia
Across a sultry kitchen table, or memory:
Her feeding with a watery kiss she found.
These; Kite-Runner rapists and perfumed
Starry-eyed metaphysics, war poetry, I think;
Three years, really, oh captain? Yet never
A desk stood on nor teacher with a feather
Stoned. I cannot believe it to see back, wearing
Freshly peeled eyes, how your heart must
Surely have reached for us, for our freedom,
For yours, for all our passions in learning and being,
Bringing the magic of fiction through to our
Real, wizened and brittle lives, cracking spines
Back into nobler shapes, sweating youth into
Dry sagged wrinkles. Captain! Return with us
Your wholesome crew to deliberate
And wrestle enough space from the shackles
Of fate to scratch a little word into those metal
Bonds: true.

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