Guest Poet Syyd Raven

A Stitch in Time

The Yew tree grows old, 
and sparrows fly. I have nothing 
left to feed them. 
Silence ruins an appetite 
for wedded destruction. 

Pried apart by useless strains 
of violating echoes, I mad dog leap 
at the chance to 
strip off my marriage dress, 
tearing at the buttons, chewing apart 
the seams sewn by infinite silver needles 
tattooing lines in my life. 

The coats we stitched for our dynasty 
no longer hold out the cold. 
You are gone. 
I am lost. 
My womb that once fried eggs on lazy 
Sunday afternoons is empty. 

My heart is freezer burned to a pulp 
and yet you close around it like a 
short order cook running low on the 
Wednesday night special. 
My hands are like iceboxes, 
blue veined Kelvinators, 

Some two fisted drunk cyclops 
bashes at the ice until it falls away 
and melts on my stove top. 
I do not think to clean it up, 
only that it will dry there. 

My soul meanders through 
leftover memories stopping 
to dine on familial violence. 
Even the bloody roast sitting 
astride the silver platter 
tries to crawl back inside 
the sheltering cow. 

Whiskey hearts tick in the back bedroom 
where the digital read out glows red 
like a neon sign above a cheap motel. 
All is not lost save my breathless sighs 
that force a thirty second ending 
to every Saturday night. 
I eat your hostile sleep, fetal position, 
avoiding the wet stain of fertility. 
I say grace. 

Nothing grows here anymore. 

November, 1999

Syyd Raven's Questions:

1.  Is the pain of broken marriage evident?

2.   Is the writer fruitful in describing violence?

3.    Can you sense the finality?

The Albany Poetry Workshop