Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April 25 What I Don’t Know

… in trying to heal the wound that never heals,

lies the strangeness, the inventiveness of a man’s work.

-- Garcia Lorca

I know about the strip searches after our visits

as if our presence left you with a piece of humanity

that had to be removed.

I know how you kept to yourself reading,

praying, adrift in a sea of darkness,

to avoid answering difficult questions.

I know you were embarrassed by the number of letters

arriving daily, signs of those you loved, who missed you,

while those around you were often alone.

I know how on the nights you could not phone, you asked God

to send us a message so we would know you were safe

and we could sleep quietly and dreamlessly.

I know how you saved apples and crackers, stockpiled

them like treasure, to improvise pie and a slice

of home on a Sunday.

I know how you learned and unlearned trust every day.

What I don’t know is how you survived the unspeakable,

the fear, the loneliness, the despair and how you returned

to find the night sky, the open space nearly unbearable.

There’s a black spot in you, I don’t know how to reach,

deafening in its silence and every day it wrestles

for one more piece of your soul.

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