Saturday, August 06, 2005

A Poem In The Dark

In The Dark

Now you've traveled along alone so far,
No heartfelt human voice to hear except your own
Or else some dim recall caught briefly on the march
Where some spoke soft and some with starch,
Forestalling for a time this dogged trouble with your heart.

The cops, the doctors, must have known or sensed
Some awful bloody offness in the memories you've made
Of voices that cry behind you in past tense
Or whisper faintly from inside—
How must they have despised all that your speech must hide!

You speak to no one in the end,
Hearing women's voices weakly in your head
That used to spark the hardness even of your self-brazed heart.
You've traveled alone a long time now and far,
No semblance of a voice beside you in the dark,
Unless you count the chaos, and the chaos seldom counts.

Count the stars instead, so far away, apart,
And what a long way now would it not go
Toward being home at last
If only someone in the dark had said—but what? Said what?
Time is so far along and all except your art is at heart's end
At last, where all that human voices ever said is soon forgot.


8th draft: 09/27/04
©2001 Ronald C. Southern

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Abandon hope, all ye who enter here! (At least put on your socks and pants.)