The Soul Poem by Ira Sadoff

The Soul

Rating: 4.5

The shaft of narrative peers down.
The soul's a petrified fleck of partridge this October.
Mud-spattered, it thinks it's brush, it thinks
it's one with the brush when God aims

just below its feathers. It's too late to raise the soul,
some ossified conceit we use to talk about deer
as if we were deer, to talk about the sun, as if the cold
autumn light mirrored our lover asleep in the tub.

Nevertheless, I want to talk about it. Those scarred bodies
on the hospital table, they're white chalk children use
to deface the sidewalk. The deer fed in the gazebo,
where the salt lick was barely safe from the fox.

And when the wind didn't drag my scent to her,
I sat listless, half-awake, and watched her hunger
surpass her timidity. I should have been changed.
I should have been startled into submission

by a very white light, I should have shed my misgivings
as her tongue made that sticky sound on the lick
and two startled animals stared into what St. Francis
called a mystery. I should bring her back, the woman too,

the woman who what why words fail me here.
I should sanctify the hospital gown as it slides down
the tunnel of the catscan, to see where
the nodules have spread into the thin, pliable tissues

we call the innards in animals, because they dwell
in scenery, they're setting for the poem, they provide
a respite from the subject who's been probed and lacerated,
who's been skinned and eaten away by the story

when I'm beguiled by the music the hooves made
on the pine floor. I can bring her back, can't I,
I'm bringing him back, the hero who was close enough
so I could watch what was inside his face hover and scatter.

Bernard F. Asuncion 02 November 2016

The soul dies when the physical body dies... The soul of the dead does not return and roam around......

2 2 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 02 November 2016

Close enough. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

1 1 Reply
Sheeya Hacks 11 June 2023

Interesting poem, So very thoughtful. FIVE STARS

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Kumarmani Mahakul 02 November 2017

A thought provoking and meaningful poem touching to body and soul has been nicely presented. Thanks and congratulations for p.o.d.

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Bernard F. Asuncion 02 November 2017

The dead man’s soul is not immortal. It expires when the physical body dies...... It doesn’t come back nor does it socialize with the living loved ones or other living people....

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Seamus O Brian 02 November 2016

To tease at the edges of a bandage, not willing to endure the pain fully exposing the wound would cause. To probe and pick at the necrotic edges of an ulcer, avoiding the exquisitely tender center. To write tangentially of deer and partridge, one eye on the image of the verse, the other avoiding the painful gaze at the death of a loved one. This is truly one of the best utilizations of meaningful tangential language I have come across; nearly all others are clumsy attempts at what this writer has accomplished. Powerful and engaging, not alienating.

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Ratnakar Mandlik 02 November 2016

A thought provoking and meaningful poem roaming in spiritual matters about relationship between body and soul. Congrats on the POD.Thanks for sharing.

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Ira Sadoff

Ira Sadoff

New York / United States
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