Sunday, February 22, 2009

Shadow Acceptance

author’s note:

Based on a true story, I’m sad to report.


Why do you parade
that stain on your heart?

You seem to see it
as an achievement.

Though that stain is black
you reject all else
that reminds you of the dark.
You reject the night.
You reject the ghosts
of shadow corners.
You even reject something
as benign
as pigmentation.

Secretly, unknowingly
you reject your own heart.
Your own stained heart.

Did someone lay that stain on you
long ago--before you knew
you could object?
--Someone you loved?
Maybe you believe
that eradicating the stain
would be the same
as disobeying
the one who stained you.

No, matter--you still have to answer.

In any case,
I will not undertake
to change you--I’d rather
gnaw a rock.

Instead I will try to see
what remains pure
--though the stain often
dismals your waters
like the spreading ink cloud
of a frightened octopus.

I will even accept your stain

as my own.  I must have something
down there too--so hidden, so buried
that all my scrubbing
has yet to erase it.

--I must--

Why else should I receive
such a gift--?--why else
would you come into my life--?--
why else would you feel
to open the cage
of your chest to me?

© 2009, Michael R. Patton
earnest audio
new steps

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Blogger Goldenrod said...

Hmmph! A virtual 'opening up' of your innermost thoughts, Michael.

6:18 PM  

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