David Floren

Rashomôn Baby

Rashomôn baby, what maybes
You’ve fought past this time.
Bawling amid the wet, scorched timbers,
This once-fortress heard you.

Faces in the ruins winced
At the shrillness of your cry,
Storming the heart’s fortress.
Hope’s a prisoner there,
Pleading for a furlough.

A shard of roof feigned aid,
Slumbering through hard rain.
Your nursemaids can’t help you,
Their once-bosoms cradle worms.

Maybe that thief would’ve
Lent you a crude hand:
A swift brute-ness
to speed you across.

Whatever coins your eyes held
He’d forever borrow, leaving
Whichever boatman’s coming
To leave you high and dry.

The wet leaves at least would’ve
Clung to your clothe-less cuteness,
As if to Lancôme away
A most loathsome display.

What a song you sang
To curse this thief. Now you’re
Snug in the arms of a woodcutter
With a big heart, priest-humbled.

How rashly you moaned.
Home, all burnt. Dead. Gone.
An honest bawl to tell all
How much you missed it.

True, this woodcutter, himself a thief,
Chose to hold you tightly. Still,
You stopped at nothing, fighting
Past maybes and that’s something.

[9-24-07 Berkeley, CA (rev.1 10-13-07 Berkeley, CA) ]

Poem Submitted: Saturday, February 9, 2008
Poem Edited: Saturday, February 9, 2008

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