Germany, 1941

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I still had shoes,
And a windowpane to peer through.
I could still be lucky, and guilty,
And hear someone breathing close by.
I could gaze on the streets below
And feel pity for the broken cobblestones,
Cracking under the numb, nameless hands.
I had the privilege
Of watching the world around me dissolve,
Torn strand by strand from the fabric,
Stained and blowing in the wind.

Each day came
And each day went.
You stayed safely distant,
Leaving the sky sepia toned,
Dull and Heavy with rain.
It was bittersweet, weighing my lips,
Turning restlessly on my tongue,
Rapidly swimming in my mind,
Desperately seeking to understand.
It snaked through my veins,
A crack in the well of my blood
Leaden like stone, waiting to crumble.
It was nestled in the crook of the hill,
hollowed like bone.

Mamma stood,
Clutched her rosary,
The mottled mother of pearl shining in her palm.
She leaned into the corner,
she could not hold herself upright,
Pressed harder and harder
Into the bruise of her faith.
It was in me, too.
The sting of every breath, the clot of my throat
Closing around the knot in my stomach.
The days were just fine
Without you.
Loneliness was just me,
Without you.
It was the twisting of my neck
as the bridges behind me burned to the ground.





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emma1234 said...
Mar. 24, 2009 at 12:28 am
woahhh great language! i love love LOVE this poem--the word choice, the syntax, the images...it all made me think a lot! and the title is perfect too! keep up the good work!
 
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