Turning Thighs To Diamonds
Or what man is there among you, of whom if his son
shall ask bread, will he reach him a stone? - Matthew 7: 9
No blame shall stain us now, father.
The heavy ball you hit to me is never caught,
a floppy glove always falls from a hesitant hand.
Mars in you still storms the makeshift diamond.
Each base of cardboard weighted with stone
is still our house; a bat, a ball, a mitt,
hard rules of the game mean to undo all
lust for dark heaven shunning shining girls.
I was reaching for god then - not your fault - a lavender
boy early befriended by crows, already resigned to what
was given and what was to come, a softball between the
eyes, your attempt to guide me toward those diamond
thighs which, you often repeated, were everywhere waiting.
I blink still before you, head down, focused on 'Lion's Teeth.' **
I am your hard mystery, and soft, not so fast for I am fat
and cannot round the bases quick. I am your inherited meek,
a burden to shake into a sliding man furious for home.
At four I pluck a wild strawberry you point to.
All authority and accidental grace, revealing much,
still dew wet, sticky to the touch, opening sourness
deserves my frown. You laugh at my dawning smile
for its sweetness slowly yielding, a surprise gift
for what will always unite us, your fear that I will
suffer, too, your fate, untended desire gone to wildness
brought low beneath branches, slow embrace of
cradle-gentle boughs entangling legs and light
between the greater shadows,
and shadows shall win the day.
In them my yearning grows yet,
remains for that of edges,
what is beyond them or beneath,
planets arcing and comets rare,
trailing lovers to come but meteors,
not the appointed stars of permanence
allowed to some men's hands,
and never to the fallen.
Still, these essential things are caught
for all our mostly wasted days of practice,
wild sweetness is a stolen base,
the tongue is an untended garden.
There is a burning soft hands can know
which shall finally run some headlong
for home at the end, an inherited circle,
a latter-day glad son gathering berries from shadows.
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- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- A Draught Of Sunshine, John Keats
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou