Thursday, July 12, 2012

Her Inheritance


After she died bearing
the baby, Daddy
put her into the
baby, but there
wasn't enough room
for mother and daughter
in one body, so the
baby grew a tree from
her head like hair, but
the branches and leaves
were made of stuff
of souls not trees
and remained unseen,
though she felt the
weight in her shoulders
and neck as her
head hung low with
her mother's phantom
shadow covering
her every step.

Daddy didn't know
his longing grief caused
his daughter's slouch
of unknown sorrow --
unknown to her
for she knew nothing
of her mother but
what he had told her,
unknown to him for
he couldn't see
the soul tree nor its
heavy fruit, which thickened
from the food of the roots --
the juice of longing grief
and unknown sorrow
mixed to make confused
pain -- that rose up the trunk
and bowed the branches
and fattened the fruit
that dropped and rotted
and fertilized the seeds
that became phantom
sprouts, then small trees
that first caught her
eye in her waking periphery
till a forest of what was
her mother comforted
her in nightmares and whispers.

The haunted grounds
of madness cradled
the daughter like
a never-known mother till
the birth of her own
daughter illuminated the
branches with a fondness, with
the forest's first living leaves.


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