Sunday, August 04, 2013

On the Wings of a Clam

author’s note:

“No one sees you working in the basement...

"...and no one should."
                       -- anonymous


Only the dog saw her
strip on the beach and wade out
into the darkening waters

as if she'd been hypnotized
by the sunset on the horizon--

as if she'd surrendered
to a glowing moon
seen in a hypnotic dream.

Family and friends comforted themselves
by imagining she had finally flown
to some oval island where she could be
a bird flower bursting into bloom.

But in truth, she did what clams usually do:

she sank to the bottom

to subject herself
to the ever-increasing pressures
of the lower depths

so that a fist might break open
and become a hand...

so that a flower bud might achingly blossom.

Hands are like wings when they open
because they can lift so many others

and when her hands finally bloomed
we found her standing, dripping wet
shining brilliantly on the sand:

a sun flower

but also a pearl
glowing in the moonlight.

Still shining, these days, still glowing
as she attempts to tell us
about that which can never be
adequately expressed

and because what can never be
adequately expressed
cries out so urgently
for expression
she stutters and fumbles
and humbles herself
as she delivers her story...

yet the feeling behind her words
opens us and lifts us up

to stand on her tall shoulders.

© 2013, Michael R. Patton

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