We are in transit, forever walking toward a destination we cannot see. Mama says we got to keep on, but my feet hurt, my arms tired from carrying the baby. She told the little ones that Daddy will meet us there, but I know the truth.
I blink to focus my vision,
And drink in my surroundings.
The sun brushes the horizon and
the cerulean sky is peppered with stars.
Tall, wispy grass blankets the savannah;
It dances in a gentle breeze that does not touch me.
Trees twist up out of the ground in the distance,
Shadows in the dwindling twilight.
My only company on this vast pasture
Is a lone elephant.
I walk towards the leathery giant
And he looks up.
I’ve disturbed his reverie.
He stomps his feet and barrels towards me.
I turn to flee and he follows.
The grass whips against my legs,
But I do not stop.
My breath grows rapid
and steel bands wrap around my lungs,
But I don’t turn.
I keep going
Until there is nowhere left to go.
With the irate pachyderm on one side
And a watery deluge on the other,
I have two choices.
Do I turn and face my adversary?
Or do I jump and chance drowning?
I clench my fists and turn.
I wake up,
Sweat is beaded across my brow
And my palms are clammy.
The lock clicks and the front door creaks open.
Footsteps shuffle across the floor below me,
Up the stairs.
He crosses our room,
Goes into the bathroom.
A soft glow illuminates the wall in front of me.
He sneaks into bed,
Pulling the eiderdown comforter off my shoulder
And quickly replacing it.
I lay completely still.
Now is my chance,
But can I stand up to him?
He reeks of whiskey and cigarettes,
But under that is a musky smell,
His form settles in bed,
His weight threatening to pull me towards him.
But a vision from my dream flashes into memory,
of the elephant barreling down on me,
And turning to stand my ground.
I roll over.
I will not drown,
And he will not trample me.
Author’s note: I ran out of time on this one… at least in the editing and revising stage, but I still wanted to post it, because I think it’s got potential.
And a BIG THANK YOU to Laissez Faire for helping me with my formatting issues! Nothing makes me feel older than not understanding technology!!!
Try as they might, Hansel and Gretel couldn’t forgive their parents. After a month of pretending, they snuck out in the night and made their way back to the witch’s house. They knew they’d have food, mostly sweets, to spare.
Ekphrastic poetry describes a work of visual art. For this piece, I chose:
The Old Guitarist
Painting by Pablo Picasso
His lined face
bends over the guitar,
not looking at his fingers,
but instead somewhere past
his crossed ankles,
His chapped fingers
strum the strings;
the tune unrecognizable,
yet strangely familiar,
His ripped clothes
hang from his anemic frame,
thin, blue, and torn,
exposing limbs and shoulder,
leaving him unprotected
from the cold night to come.
His whispered words
float over the dim twilight.
His figure sags further
as his song continues,
disappearing into a world
that is not listening.