June 20, 2004

To my father who has been gone a long time

PACKAGING


I.

My father wrapped packages with excellent finesse.
With perfection he kept all loose ends from fraying
Kept all feelings from freeing
Kept me wrapped in wonder
When would he see me
when would he
love me.

Now I wrap my precious memories
of being with you
so that I can take them out
in the middle of the
lonely nights
far away
when you are not
there
here.


II.

The devil got in bed with me last night.
He jumped in three times in rapid succession.
I sat up and screamed and he went away.
He was tall and thin and wore brightly coloured dance tights
and his long-tailed jacket forked behind like dressy tucks
flapped in the air behind him as he dived in to get under the covers
and steal my place
when I was just beginning to be warm.

And later in the night as I wandered, afraid still of my bed,
my voice still sore from screaming at the devil,
I found myself descending in an elevator in a tall building and the
car was going much too fast and I was afraid it would crash
and so I put my fingers together in Buddha fashion
and willed it to slow down
and it did
and then I could rest.

(For young girls each and every one sing fearfully
in their sleep to their fathers, O, daddy please,
dance with me
and circle round my life
and warm my waist
for then will I perhaps
be free to dance with Anyman.)


III.

It was indeed my fatherís birthday once
when he was seventy-five and I was too
fearful to say the yes I am glad to know
you and yes thank you for being in my life
and including me in your
(but did you yet)
and thank you for never having really made love to me
in the flesh though we were both fire
and thank you
for waiting while I burned and for
not burying my charred body with your mind.
And now you are free from wanting me.

Posted by leya at June 20, 2004 10:11 AM