Splinter

8.Boubat.-Portugal_-1956There is a thin slice of glass in my foot

I cannot see it

but I know it’s there

at night when

the fan whirls like a dervish overhead

and I play the xylophone between my legs

a storm blows in

like a warning and a representation

of everything felt and bottled up

old trees hold on, their roots tested

by the metal of young wind hurling

all order into chaos

we stand in our night-clothes

looking over fences

at destruction

she has a white line the length of her stomach

he has a scar hidden in his throat

mine is without and within like

a snake who cannot decide

which part to digest first

we three are the wounded lovers

with our perpetual thirst for

promises to ring true

devotion to stay where it was first placed

by the window in a jar of water

to bloom and scent the pulse of night

but such things rarely obey

wont of humans without power

the storm and her threading fingers

lays waste to our belief we control

even the tiniest morsel of this crochet world

…(l)…

when he married her

he thought she would obey

the tick tock of her laboring heart

stay steadfast by his side in the howling wind

but she was a maelstrom of her own

making

soon the wedge in their marital bed

was a dry river without resurrection

…(ll)…

she wanted

her husband to save her

when the doctor said C.A.N.C.E.R. and she turned

to the eyes of her children and they

looked away in painted terror

but he only knew how to put out fires

not the slow melt of all safe things she had

taken for granted 33 years

so they diverged

like a split oak touched by

lightning will remain

upright yet stranger to its mate

…(lll)…

and she was the string

between the wounded male and female

her own heart hollowed out

murmuring at night like a singleton

by the small hands of trust and promises

unkept

it was as her grandmother said

a poor thing to imagine humans

to remain steadfast

after all, the storm blew everything

even our very best intentions

whipping them into the air

until they were fragments of themselves

transformed what we knew

what we were familiar with

lending no safe harbor

for the weakened need to have surety

the only thing keeping them

upright

was their conjoined pain

a frayed ribbon between three houses

in the wildfire dead of night

where even

creatures who prefer darkness

stayed in their nests

for it was only then, in the tempest

they felt themselves capable

of surviving another moment

only then

shouting their grief into four pursing winds

writing pain along the narrow margins

of life and death

they lived another day

and on that day

wrecked and emptied

found succor in the equal fall of others

bending to pick up the debris of

their former selves

rent into splintered pieces

unrecognizable and sharp to the touch

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25 thoughts on “Splinter

  1. Thank you dearest M, I’m glad you think so, I had a little bit of writers-block but now I’m doing my best to get back there, it helps to read works of other authors (you, you, you) who inspire me to keep writing

  2. Maybe if we all went back to living in small tribes we would find the cure.

    This is beautiful, Candice. Some of the best writing comes out after a block – as if it’s all been building up, just waiting for the plumber to come and unleash it.

  3. I think of a line in a song, “Easy times come hard for me…” (“Easy Times”, Judy Collins). The rest of the song doesn’t fit this, but that did. Some only do feel able to survive in the tempest. Some relationships depend on that gathering of splinters.

  4. Ah my friend I thought the same about so many of your posts – thank you so much – I try really hard but sometimes it doesn’t happen sometimes it does – I appreciate YOU

  5. Well you had me with Judy Collins, GREAT choice. But when do you not? Very true about the easy times being illusive, but maybe that’s why they’re appreciated when they do? I do agree and like the image of ‘gathering of splinters’ very much

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