Friday 16 August 2019

Happy day after the full moon. The forty-second Moon Prize, goes to Joani Reese's haunting poem "Elegy."


by Joani Reese

Like sinews stretched until they snap,
I finally reach that no return

I banish man-child from my home,
and toss his troubles to the curb 

as rage cements his fisted heart
that once fluttered beneath my own. 

A hardened man, he won't admit 
rash choices formed his bitter mien, 

and if he ever loved someone, 
his mirrored body sat that throne. 

I finally extract my life, 
aware he'll never own his fate; 

he'll stumble 

forward, fall alone, 
his troubles blamed on everyone.

How strange to think, innocent, young, 
he was my laughing, blue-eyed son. 

Each angry man leaps from a boy 
tempered by existential harm. 

Embracing hate, his ire thrums, 
this one who never caught the ring, 

nor sang a song, nor loved someone. 

A frightened boy dwells in this man 
who claims he can control the storm; 

he'll realize, but far too late,
he's just another wind-tossed pawn. 
Drug ravaged, drunken, stumbling on, 
a sunken wraith, an eidolon,

his threnody's a sorrow song,
a dirge lamenting damage done. 

All kindness gone, he's flown apart,
a puzzle piece lost in the dark. 

I stand detached and mustn't grieve
his leaving or lie to the truth. 

I have no time for a fresh start,
prepare for years missing that heart 

that once beat softly, safe 
beneath my own.

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