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6 Jan 2014

Re-counting the bars

Posted by Oblivion in Poetry | 11:55pm

she counts the bars
and tells me there are none
her stare is blank
and my eyes weep

she taught me numbers
ones, fours, twos and tens
in her loving eyes
i saw tears of joy
when i counted right

finish with it, he reminds
his gaze apathetic
time abandons you
when you want her to linger

"where will she go"? i yell
he says nothing
"where will you go?"
i ask, my voice turns bleak
she stares at me

holding her trembling fingers
i want to say, a last time
"don't forget me, mother!"
but i don't

for, it will
break my heart
if she says either -
"how can i, ever, son!"
or, frightfully, "who are you?"

it's a waning winter
and as i read her pale face
he shuts the window
the pall of gloom befalls

six more winters pass
i still look at these walls
and find a glimmer of hope
even as fear rankles
my restless heart

and then along he comes
the pimp of power
"your mother is dead"
i hear him mocking

i could kill him
but what do i get
who will swell my sinking heart
and sing and soothe
my lifeless soul

has she betrayed me
have i betrayed her
or has the world betrayed both
i would never know

pushing me out
into unrelenting light
shining on a dark world  
as my steps falter
he adds, "you can walk free"

but what will i do
where will i go
and why i will
to a ruthless, motherless world

i want to go back
to the cell, any cell
here, elsewhere, anywhere
and count the bars again
till i see none

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