Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Song for Perdita

Orphan, there is a door.
Look inside the hollow where your thumb meets your wrist,
or in your elbow joint in the center of the bend,
or under the armature of your left shoulder blade behind your heart.
Slide your hand down your back and feel it there.

The door is carved from a two thousand year old olive tree
that grew in the garden of Gethsemane.
Sometimes it is rattled open by desert thunder,
or by dry wind through a forest on fire.
Sometimes it is sealed with resin.

There is no light behind the door, nor darkness.
There are no swollen-eyed mourners or bloodied fists,
no wide boulevards or sand beaches.
No hunger.  No dreams.
A wail will lead you to the door but inside there is no sound.

Only you can find it,
you, all the Perditas abandoned in all the storms. 
It is never found in a grandmother’s garden
of carefully trimmed box and well-fed roses.

You have to walk instead to a wild lot
inside the footprint of a forgotten building left to crumble
and seeded by rubble growers—
fast thirsty greens
that bloom with spiraling ghost flowers under white skies.
Jimsonweed and bind.

Behind the door nothing is ever lost. 

Slip in Perdita. 

Slip in little lost one.

3 comments:

Sandi Longhurst said...

oh Kate, this is so incredibly beautiful, soothing and enchanting. Thank you for posting it.

Kate T.W. said...

Thanks Sandi.

Sara Grace said...

This is outstanding. I think it's the best thing you've ever written.