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All posts for the month June, 2013

The Girl In The Green Dress

Published June 29, 2013 by rlmcdermott

it makes
sense
she says
to herself
they only
come to kill
not to love

seeing him
in the shadows
half naked
bright shield
held up
a speculum
a blue light
flickering
above a
white horizon

she could
not resist
her sister’s
huddled
beside her
weeping

all these
years waiting
surrounded
by stone
turning
to stone

she smelled him
in the darkness alive
music everywhere
women wailing
her own heart beating

there is no
forgiveness
in never
being loved

being held
at arm’s length
always forced
to see herself
in someone else’s lies

even the snakes are weary of herSunset

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The Opera Singer

Published June 11, 2013 by rlmcdermott

She sang
in the bathroom–
high notes,
clear,
chaste,
contralateral.

A songbird puffing
cigarettes between breaths,

all was illegal about those years–
the teased hair,
the shaved eyebrows,
the rolled-up skirt.

Violetta everywhere,
father dying
on a red-velvet couch.

Where were the old dreams,
the dreams her parents had for her;
there was a truth to them
that she ignored–

the bottle-shaped dreams
of an alcoholic father,

the woman in the kitchen
silent for forty years
now heard for the first time,

a half-forgotten song,
snatches of melody,
lingering in her memory.

They gave her a watch
so she could know time was running out.
She listened to the ticking; rhythmic
like a song, like a poem,
an alliteration of small explosions
striking the final destination.

The days of summer and sadness,
the little girl heart beating badly,
the pills stolen from a dying father,
the butcher knife hidden in a rotting mattress,
the poems packed in a yellow suitcase–
songs saved for another day.The Opera Singer

Prisoners Of The Moon

Published June 11, 2013 by rlmcdermott

I thought you were the one
who would lead me out–
the moon was bright
but not light enough
and your face was hidden
by a cloud that would not leave.

Gray and white and black are colors;
afraid of death I rushed into the light–it was too bright!

How many times a year
will you grieve for what is lost?
The moon stood still for the sun
but only once and then no more.

We have never met
but have met a thousand
times and like flowers
that will not bloom
we stand inside ourselves
and find the other.

A paradox we two
who are not one,
you in your glory,
me in my decline,
have stopped to love
an opposition of a kind–
this song, this poem, this painting,
works of art that cannot be seen,
hidden in a miser heart
that will not set us free.Prisoner Of The Moon