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 Spirit Chimes

A Very Late Apology



For my daughter


I walk alone where
you used to play,
the oaks more like
a chapel
where the last light
has set the saints
and apostles on fire,
the way your mind used
to dazzle the ghosts
of the forest.

Now they are wrung out
souls like knotted words
and rough-hewn excuses,
lost in flames so
beautiful they sting my
eyes and drain
the air around me.

And finally I understand
that yesterday was your
every chance and
my everything.

Angels don't fall to
earth,
they awaken in the arms
of sleepless, broken
mothers;
they are giants inside
restless seeds, holding
all the towering hopes
of a hundred years
or more

and I was the keeper of
your world.

In the hungry winds
of spring,
when our real lives
are just beginning,
it was easy to believe
you would always be
laughing here,

where love was as soft
as luna moths when they
were paper dancers in the
glassy nights you feared.

Now I wear your pain like
this nightfall
wears sorcery
and never sheds
its blazing peril,
only draws us in to
want it more.

If I had only known then
that now is all there is.

Falling forever in the
stars you used to study,
unquestioning stars you
knew well as you reached
for a stripped down, one note,
believable truth,

a place so far from here

like the dream of
an easy life
that passed into winters
and clean linen summers,
a dream that brushed against
your skin like secrets,

always a part of the night,
part of the cricket song
we come to know as the
heartbeat of darkness,
just outside the gates
of sunrise.

After the journey,
perhaps, return to
the beginning and find
what was perfect there:
the moment we greeted the
world together
and how, to one
student of humility
you were the universe,

and now, in this torn
and churning night, for
everything I didn't do
when I had everything,
I finally say:
I'm sorry.


Patricia Joan Jones

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