by Carolyn Srygley-Moore
Gentleness, despite the claw.
As one would take an orange apart, by segments, one takes apart
the source of light; what drives us
to praise music even as we destroy it, or it is taken in
by the untoward violin & shredded.
But not with pleasure. Forsaken, as one leaves
the injured bird in the bush, for her death should be wild;
taming would destroy her. Rather, purest death amongst
the weeds. Ghosts of the roadside
cattail, the wheat stalk, the goldenrod:
ghost of the man, ravaged by mini-strokes, who drove
the back roads collecting cans, cursing
the light. Pebbles of moon in the clearing, there is always
a way. The gentle. She sang halleluiah all night long,
although she had flatlined before – sang
until her pulse stopped at the forecast instant of
sunrise. Dawn. Like the motion of infant hands
in the curtains, the motion of wind. What drives us
onward, despite the claw? The words
of benediction pass over me like water.
I love water, but don’t know what it means,
as I cannot explain the pigeon
the cat caught, but did not kill.
* * *
“The Claw” (c) 2009 by Carolyn Srygley-Moore
all rights reserved, used with the poet’s permission
Carolyn Srygley-Moore is a long-ago, award-winning graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. She has been a Pushcart nominee, widely published in journals including Eclectica, Mimesis, Antioch, Stirring, & the antiwar anthology Cost of Freedom. Her digital chapbook Enough Light on the Dogwood is available at www.mimesispoetry.com. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband & daughter.