Saturday, September 30, 2006

Still taking a 'get well' break but...'Cora Lee', this poem, came.

I wanted first to thank you all for your notes and also to post a poem written during this time off.

Cora Lee

Rag bound 'round your head,
brown skin dipped in sweat
you washed our dishes
our clothes
ironed starched collars
and fancy blouses
no Cinderella prince
would offer you in your lifetime.

Four years old and precocious,
I corrected your grammar, ran unbidden
down the path to your house,
watched you fry fatback
and flatbread, thought it a feast,
never dreaming, if offered the platter
you might have chosen steak instead,
never saw you sighing at the unjust breeze
or the angry hawks circling over the thick pines
behind your house, day's end, sore feet crying
on the graying planks of your porch.

Grown, I wanted to toss out my sorry's
like a pink net of flowers--like Judas,
to give back the coins, beg forgiveness,
undo the nails, dig out the thorns, but
you stood in your sister's door
a statue, already fading in the twilight
eyes as vacant as a barn after the cows
have been led out to slaughter.

11 comments:

burning moon said...

This is just lovely Pris. Touching and poignant.

Pris said...

Thank you so much. We've shared poetry for how many years now...six?? Your comments always mean a lot to me, as you do as a person.

burning moon said...

I know what you mean. It's been a long time eh? It's always good to get the opinion of people who know your work well and have an idea of your whole body of work as well. You've been reading my poems the whole time I've been writing them!

Pris said...

When I think of my first poems during that time, too, I blush. Oh god, were they awful.

RC said...

Pris,I know I already said this at cafecafe,but I think this is a very great poem.The characters speak to me so loudly and in the flesh almost.

pepektheassassin said...

I think this is one of your best! It's full of great imagery and the voice rings true. Love it! Hope you are getting rested and are feeling better.

Pris said...

Thank you both...and yes, I'm resting and am slowly beginning to feel better. Thanks for your concern.

Plus Ultra said...

Poignant, evocative, turn the tap of my emotions on and I am washed again and again

Pris said...

I'm glad this touched you!

Ellen M Johns said...

After a hard shift at work, this was a delight to wind down my day.
Great writing Pris.

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

Wonderful! I hope you keep getting better.