“All Our Horrific Realities: A Dirge”
Leigh Ward-Smith, ©2014
“The family drew cupcakes . . . on her tiny white casket.”
Setting: Here, now.
All our horrific realities
are all horrifically ours.
Sublime in the glint of the scythe,
six-and-twenty sorrows stream into our consciousness.
Salt upon the pane.
I rage against the sloping reality
of the dying twenty-six lights.
Soon enough, the grief heaps up, pushing up mountains in the mind:
Belted welts upon the already bruised back of the world.
Somewhere, suffused cirrus,
pregnant with hopes flung out
and the iciest of cyclic horrors.
And now, cracked-lip murmurings yet shunt, quick to the chest,
our hell-shocked fare-thee-wells.
I write so I can live
with the reality of our human race, this place:
We are damned, dirty apes–with angers dangerously ablaze.
Can saved Graces now retrieve the six-and-twenty,
plucked pennies from air-strings of aether,
lifted like priceless veils to reveal
the twinned treasures–survival secrets–
the weighted, waiting heart of love and its golden companion, forgiveness?
Never forget The 26.
Dedicated to Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Rachel D’Avino, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Dylan Hockley, Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, Madeleine F. Hsu, Catherine V. Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, Ana Marquez-Greene, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Anne Marie Murphy, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Benjamin Wheeler, Allison N. Wyatt, and all who were touched by these lives. — “Life always matters, very much”
This poem was respectfully written as a response to The Daily Post’s daily writing prompt of 26 January 2014.