ATROPHY

 

Remembering is precious metal.

I go deep to mine

the dark silence.

 

Down the bitten steps, I stumble.

Below, a child stands, waiting,

hands upturned, yearning,

filthy-faced, eyes beg,

Do not abandon me!

 

I have no ambition, I explain.

I only ask for kindness, she pleads.

Sit and tell me your story, I say.

Iím hungry, she answers.

I have only this, I tell her

 

and pull the shrunken bit of hope

from my pocket.

Itís enough, she smiles

and takes it, as if it were

a precious thing.

 

I watch her lick the edges,

savor it fully,

begin to gnaw and chew.

Tears shake loose,

spatter the oil-stone beneath.  

 

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© Copyright 2005 Susan M. Botich