They surface again..those fears


There is no life in those leaves,
the torn pages, the cold stars,
None in the dead
whom you seem to venerate in your poems
What role will these abject corpses have
in our lives- you may ask one day
when there is nothing more to wring
from the plaintive night
and we sit stifling our freer sides
lest the abrasive ends make contact
I hope to goad you towards such questions
which I know will ever lie unasked
yet ever curious about my own psyche,
I give birth to imagined fetuses.

Some dry leaves swathe a frenzied flow
stiff with the rigor mortis of emotions
I carry them gingerly, cradling them
fearing an embrace may destroy their rigid form
I fumble-an otter in high heels,
balance them like an old bar hand
steady myself to leap over whirlpools
and I no longer know the rules I make up
as time flows along
and life to me is not warm and comforting
like a mother’s lap,
but a burning valley between tender breasts,
nursing a flame that may melt the cultivated chill
and cause the ‘keep out’ fence to collapse.

A world lies wondrous beyond all the artifice
I fear I may not be a swimmer enough
scared to awaken a sleeping soul mate
with a similar chunk of warmth frozen within
Terrified of the increase in the width of your eyes
when I smile through words while some images weep
Afraid of love seeping in
like a caressing hand on the nape of my neck
And I protect my dying tree fiercely
wary of free scoops of love or words
though my safety harness lies caught on broken twigs
and my qualms plummet down like dead leaves.
©Reena Prasad 10th dec 2012

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