Friday, February 1, 2008

Marianne LaValle-Vincent

For My Father

If ever you belonged
back in the world
it is tonight
children laughing at
lightening bugs
squealing with delight
at the prospect of
glass jars hold the
blinking insects
swarming against the
wall for freedom
thousands of stars
light the yard
surrounding the crescent
shooting reminders
of your fleeting life
the jar sits on the
cement steps
tiny hands cup
the prison
you would have set
them free
to entertain another day
in the middle of
I will open the
and they will fly
toward you
to light the
ever after


I like the thickness of fog
the blur of reality
colors almost undistinguishable
fighting for attention
imagination comes to life
with unknown faces
arms outstretched to find
others in the path
slowly lifting
it reveals our blindness
gloved men and woolen hats
on obese women
in the distance
the scream of the foghorn
seems to echo fear
and as the siren fades
feet lift from gray smoke
walking toward him
I focus on his shoes
and just briefly they are
my father’s
but he is gone
and the shoes belong to
a stranger

Kodak Moment

almost lifelike we pose
smiles permanently etched on
blank empty faces
shoulders touching
heads tilted a bit to the right
just for effect
motionless children with invisible halos
sit still as statues
while mischief and temptation hide
behind angelic eyes
perfectly we hang
forever over the mantle
as pieces of our existence
break off and fall
turning the posed family
into nothing but a memory
and sometimes I enter the canvas
once again wearing the blushing bride look
remembering when all that lie ahead
was new and exciting
and the smiles were real
captured for all eternity
yellowed now the silent photograph
drips with indifference
no one really notices us
yet there we are
not a hair out of place
ageless and hopeful
innocence still apparent
everything was captured but time
we hang a bit crooked now
frame chipped and dull
looking so mannequin like
feelings buried under the paint
and I know it’s time for a restoration
because the camera never lies
and we do so much better
as still life

Rain, Rain Go Away

in the storm
I am the one without an umbrella
soaked and vulnerable
dripping with remembrance
searching for a cloud to house me
and as I turn my face to the
I see yesterday instead of
when the sun made a home
in my heart
and I laughed at the hanging black nimbus
that belonged to everyone else
I bathed in warmth and perpetual
a million storms ago
when I reached for a star
and touched immortality
lost in the ever presence light
of hope and faith
the thunder echoes in my ears
as the lightening jolts me into numbness
and the rain keeps coming
my already dampened soul


it’s not like he walks on water
or makes miracles happen
every now and then
he never turns water into wine
and no one ever listens to his preaching
but he looks great in sandals
and a robe
I rarely keel before him
(much to his dismay)
yet he has read my mind
and has been known to answer
more than a few of my prayers
and he has taken me places
on Sunday mornings
that only a holy man could
and sometimes late on Tuesday or Wednesday nights
I am his apostle
yesterday he rested
as I watched his breathing
and pretended that I was his slave
and today when he offers me his body
I will accept only too willingly
and melt into the nonexistent halo
that fits him like a radiance of spiritual wonder

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