May 4: sleep?

May 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

I can’t keep my eyes open. Here is a old poem because today I cheated (read: did not find myself worthy of any free time) and did nothing creative, if you don’t count buying plants, baking cinnamon rolls, and playing with children.

This poem is kind of personal…

The red tent

The red blanket was big enough to turn the dining room table into a tent
or so memory claims. The Family used it for picnics at the time the house was being built
to sit on the concrete before there were walls, on weekends,
two lone oak trees in what once had been a forest, first used to hang a hammock
then used as a threat: this is where they would find him hanging someday
The Father’s dreamhouse sunk into the ground, visited on a rare Sunday;
crooked windows, smell of burning rosewood (His secret to tastier meat)
sanctuary for unlucky toys banished from the first home, for great-grandmother’s wooden farmhouse, for memories of looking at stars, asking about forever:
when He knew the answers, when he told stories about fearless parrots, when he advertised evenings of tales about make-believe travels on the Zambezi with a crayon-drawn flyer, taped on the bedroom door, when he knew everything,
when it wasn’t worth much
The red blanket at the age of five could be draped over the table and reach the floor on all four sides
this shelter, once lost, was never to be discovered again
all refuges nowadays are igloos, icy and unsure
but this one had no visitors, uninvited or otherwise
a womb cave looking like a terrible tunnel
from the outside
on the inside a red-lit cave where books piled sky high
where dolls told stories too strange to remember
never to be retold:
dolls with huge eyes that blink don’t come from this world
they put a hex on you so you can never tell stories again
but instead compel you to repeat nonsensical sentences you heard before you awoke
under the red light of the blanket that once was
haunted by The Father and his emergency yellow plastic bag he held on to in case he decided to leave in the middle of the night

 

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