Earthquake Boy Poem by Angus Wyman Macdonald

Earthquake Boy



This is a dream I had:

In a labyrinthian castle
a small boy
curled up on a bed, always listening
footsteps of the guards!
he jumps and quickly hides inside a passage within the wall.

I empathize with this boy
he is always on the run
a moment's sleep, then alert and anxious in some dark cubby
my heart stops with his on hearing any sound
always vigilant, ever ready to disappear.

His very existence held in doubt
just like this ancient palace riddled with so many fissures
what seems to be of solid stone
has space for hiding with connection to
every chamber a node along some secret path.

Years later, I see him at a masque ball
his face deformed by a clay mask
now he is tall, taller than me
and his mask, ugly ridges of clay all over his face
portrays the anguish and suffering of the earthquake.

Again I see him, later still
he has survived the murderous intent
and now, prince regent
tall and noble, he brushes by
and does not recognize me.

But I remember him as the boy, now a man
with his mask, its clay forms speaking still
of lingering pain and broken lives
the earthquake greater far
than any single fate.

Yet all this is but a sparkle
on the sea of Life;
for earthquake,
riddled stone, clay mask, boy and prince,
are just my dream

Monday, July 24, 2017
Topic(s) of this poem: disaster
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27 May 2011
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