There have been times when men who cannot see
Were filled with visions bold and bright as day
There have been times when those who could not hear
Felt cacophony clash against their ears
Times came—with fame—upon the men, once lame,
Who walked on reclaimed legs for miles and miles
And when the man whose tongue had lost its taste
Did burst with flavors: salty, bitter, sweet
Less often does the mind that doesn't know
(Though will and might and desperate yearning crave it)
Divine the thoughts and will and conscious thinking
Of one that sits but just a breath away
Her spoken words are heard and understood
Hot tears are seen and whisked away with ease
Her trembling hands and sighs don't go unnoticed
Nor shuffling feet 'cross creaking floors at midnight
And yet these are but tokens of the beast
That rumble in the core of troubled hearts
Faint shadows of the giants strong and mighty
That taunt the wilting woman at her window
Those words, and tears and restless feet by moonlight
Do not reveal the bulging, searing swell
Erupting from the depths of gurgling sorrow
To scorch the muscle, tissue, skin and bone
And forces her down the pathway of their home
He follows her outside and down the stairs
"And who are you?" he calls out to the figure
Approaching supercilious up his walk
A figure, male and stately—far too handsome—
Inflaming in him fear and anger, too
"The postman, ugh," she says in pure disgust
With that, she marches further on her way
And gathers round herself her favorite shawl
The blanket of their now interréd child
She turned to him, "You think he is my lover?"
She shakes her head and walks on without stopping.
"Don't go," he says, "I'll follow you, I will."
"Do not come with me, you are not needed here,
Please leave me in peace. If you cared for me
You'd let me go unbothered, undisturbed.
Instead you keep persisting in this madness.
Your callous heart could never comprehend
And your pursuit just makes me more upset."
He runs behind her, catching up to her
He touches her; she pulls away from him
"Your touch feels just like knives and cuts much deeper
I do not know you and, without a doubt,
You don't know me. So changed I am, you can
Not know the cruelty you give me with your touch."
"What have I done to merit such harsh talk?
What crime did I, with malice, cause to you?
The very callous way you say I show
Have colored e'en the way you look at me.
Each word I say you hear through filtered ears
Each look you turn into an icy glare
My laugh like thunder clatters on your ears
My presence makes you wither and recoil."
"I will not have this conversation, will not speak.
Do not pursue me more, I beg of you."
She marches steady onward unrelenting
The pebbled path does stir beneath her feet
She walks with purpose and determination
He keeps behind her on her winding course
Her rambling sojourn leads her to the brink
Of wooded space where beast and vermin dwell
Gnarly, knotted trees and spindly bush
Conceal the scant remains of a littered path
She pauses some but enters just the same
The potted trail of underbrush and dirt and knotted roots
With harried step she stumbles on ahead
Driven, moving as if by mounting frenzy
He follows her—determined, probing, curious—
He's never seen his wife like this before
Along they go until they reach a clearing
The disused path gave way to pebbled ground
AND pebbled ground gave way to glistening water
A creek that ran serenely through the woods
"Do you come here?" he asks. His brow is furrowed.
At first she doesn't answer, only sighs
Inhales sharp breath, then slowly lets the air out
Her shoulders droop, her countenance is weary.
"I do," she says, her first time answering
She's altered, something peaceful comes upon her
He marvels in the change that he now sees
"Why?" he asks. He won't expect an answer.
To his surprise, she turns to him, "Because,
It's here we spent a many evening
Or afternoon, sometimes when you were working
We gather up our clothes and bunch them 'round us
Then by the creek we'd bring out bodies low
We'd peer into the fractured, glossy mirrors
And laugh at our reflections skewed and turned
Then gaze beyond the surface of the water
At little creatures making their way there
"Little lizards, fish and croaking toad frogs
Mossy plants and algae by the score
Things we'd never seen or'd even heard of
Stones and dirt and mud and sand and flecks
Or something shiny. He would think it gold.
I knew better, but sucked into the story
I'd play along and join his dreams of treasure."
He never knew this hidden place existed
He seemed to understand the pull it held
"You come here to remember him…when you go?"
She nods, the lowers herself beside the hallowed water
Her eyes close and he knows what she is thinking
Imagining those cherished days again
He draws close for the first time since her fleeing
He kneels beside her, only an inch away
He lowers his brute hand into the water
And watches as it splashes through his fingers
"I miss him very much," she says. 'I miss him.
The thought that he's no more may take my life
I must believe he lives on in this clearing
And anywhere his memories are vivid."
"You have a gift I do not have," he answers.
"He lives for you amongst this living shrine.
My ache is something different, something private
My ache makes me not visit him at all."
The confession makes her rise up on her feet
The distance re-established with a word.
He rises up and looks at her, he's pleading
With his sad eyes that this place they can share
"Do not mistake my words as me forgetting
Indeed, his memory is with me still
I see him in your eyes and in your person
Your steely way, your loyalty and love
I miss him in your laughter that has vanished
I cannot bear to lose you and your spirit
Not just your presence, but the spark you carry
Bears light for not just you, but our son too
He's standing at this point and something in him
Is welling up and spilling through his eyes
She softens just a bit and for the first time
Since their dear son was lowered in the ground
She looks at him with something that's not anger
And reached out a hand to his moist cheek
They stand there silently—no word, no whisper—
Communicates as well as beating hearts,
That seem to sync again in matching time
"There's life in me," she says. "And I will live it."