Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Angels in Black Denim

No-one said fire
would rain from the
sky early, that I'd
forget what name to call
the sun or the moon,
that I'd lose myself
driving in circles,
just two blocks from my house.

Not a soul ever warned
me I'd walk into walls,
or that wind in the trees
would roar like Niagra
through hands cupped like
lifeboats tight to my ears,
that friends would
fly off like Monarchs,
and silence could
sound loud as a
junkman's parade.

Nobody said these
years of dizzies in
a walled-off Gethsemane
could bring a gun
to my hand and make me
think more than once
about how it would feel
just to use it.

Schoolbooks never taught
that my clock would
stop so abruptly and
without any warning,
or that I'd pray for angels
in black denim or some
saint with a rag on her head
to kneel down beside me, brush
back my hair and say
it's okay, dear...
it's okay.



J.B. Rowell said...

Oh Pris, this is beautiful.

Pris said...

Thanks, J.B.
This one has been a struggle to write, more so than most of my poems. I'm glad it works for you!

tom said...

oh, it works
yes, it really works

Pris said...

hi tom
thank you!

Erin said...

Well spoken. Thanks for giving us a peek Pris - and yes, it definitely works.

Pris said...

Thanks, Erin.

Michael Parker said...

Oh this is exceptional!! I LOVE IT!

Pris said...

Thanks,'s really super to see that you have time again in yuor job to do a few fun things:-)

Geoff Sanderson said...

I think this is one of your best poems to date Pris - seems as if you tore it out of yourself and on to the paper. The great skill you have is to bring off these emotional and very personal poems without descending into maudlin tears; I can hear the hurt and the anger in this poem, but the voice of the writer is always clear and in control. Enough to make the angels (in or out of black denim) weep!

Pris said...

hi g
avoiding the maudlin is so important to carry off a poem. you put your finger on it. so yes, that was why i had to walk such a careful line with this one, the subject of the poem was so personal. Thanks!

Rae Pater said...

well done Pris, I'm glad to see you tackle a little of this.
I know how hard it must be for you to express something of this, which is so personal for you. You've done a wonderful job with it.

Pris said...

Thanks, Rae. It's hard for me to even read about the illness at times, so writing about it was esp a step. Thanks for your comment.