Saturday, November 14, 2015

With the cold comes other gifts

All summer I longed to lie on the grass
and watch the stars. But each time I tried
the earth shook and cracked and swallowed
cities. Hordes of locust came and razed every
living thing to the ground. Fires erupted in the
root balls of my favorite trees and torched the
low-hanging sky edge of the city. And spread to
the hills, ringing the land with fleeing citizens.
The oceans spiraled down latent drains and
poor creatures of peace lay flopping on
exposed underwater mountain ranges,
even. Disaster became my old waking
word and drowning towns I could
not save, my nightmare.
And you, in the middle of it all
still slept. In your cave. Waiting to
transform but not knowing it. I called to
you from across the deserts and burning forests,
the swamps and broken-down roads full of stranded
refugees. You heard me once but thought it was a dream,
only a dream. And did not walk into that dreamtime, that
bridge to the other world where you are a citizen and a tracker
and a king and a farmer each day. I waited for you there, still
longing to lay down and look up. I sat and stared into the
west expanse as the sun dropped each end of the
shortening days. I feared the next ice age, as my
bones were already prophesying doom. I longed
to look up. And still you slept. And dreamed
without believing, thinking dreaming as
being stopped life, life without
consequence, life without
Without anything to show.
Your shaggy coat fell and then
grew supple and your heart beat slow,
storing energy for another time. And I was
alone. But then the first freeze came and the
world stopped burning. Overnight its raiders died
in confusion, plunging their swords into each other's
hearts. I ran into the field where the spoils were, and
gathered the stolen plunder of the past three hundred
years, hearing each bolt of cloth, each golden earring
calling out for its original home, longing to return to
belonging. And I looked for the blanket you once
wrapped me in, woven with your own hands over
summer with fibers of many colors. And there 
it was, spread on the grass under blazing stars,
remembering me, and I lay down in its arms,
alone, with nothing but silence and darkness
around me, loyal as my closest friend.

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