Thursday, November 18, 2010

Six Paintings, Two Women

These movies always seem to end in blood,
With bullets in the sanctuary, or swords,
A well placed ax set to root out turbulent  
Consciences that won’t blink, stutter,
Stammer a weak retort or feeble line.
The hero almost never dies at ninety in
Bed with a deep thought or well placed quip.
No, it’s a freakish disease that comes before
Hair turns grey and fertility has been tested.
The time when lilies are overcome by poppies.

Six portraits hang, but do we look at them?
As we sit there blank to the space,
Trying to forget and so create our own
Reality out of fog and pearls;
That to live means scratching an itch,
Or dull a sharp hunger that only returns
To tell us that this is worse than futile,
A message that gets lost in the wireless.
But there they are, the ghosts of youth
Lived as if they had already caught
The spark and thrown it back,
Because in fact they actually had.
Six images that are there to remind us,
To remind me of what friendship is.

The only sure measure is blood.
That much is certain, is beyond infallible.
Immolation at the hands of a paper hanger
Masquerading as Fredrick the Great.

She walked down the Franz Josef Strasse
Like so many times since the bunker,
Decades since her release, but never saw it before.
Frozen this mild spring day amid the gentle drizzle,
And buds beginning to shed quiet perfume,
Petrified into horror by a humble marker.
Putting fingers into the grooves, she notes they
Were born so close and died the same year.
Sophie is in the ground as cowards sing her courage,
While she continues to walk the streets,
The white rose will simply not leave her in peace.
I can not say that I was too young to know
I can’t say this blood did not touch me.
And does not still indelibly stain my
Wrinkled, spotted, dripping hands.

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