Friday, January 24, 2014

Victoriana

is this the map made out of mist
the one the children lost
on their way to the blue mountains?

here is the spot where they ate their
last peppermints, butterscotch, lemon drop
and the bright foil wrappers glinting in the sun

an SOS
to someone small
to anyone at all

there's the place they found fresh water
and washed their faces in dim
starlight hardly lighting the path

to the Other side
and here's the arbor where
they told each other stories

waiting for help to come-
there, the shadow of famine, war
of small things left undone

of the illumination of sudden fevers
of ribbons untied on presents
imagined by their mothers

silver wishes foundered golden ones
spiced gumdrops
here's the cache of rubies they left behind

and in the phantom snow, bird tracks of
sparrows bringing them bright berries bright berries
in their beaks and songs


and here the trail disappears

where the guardian angels loom with peach bright wings
tinged with violet leaning over the children

in the rickety  rowboat...
the still waters
where the angels bore them away

as in fine prints that hung on
the rose paper walls papered over with sighs
of the Great Houses
long, o long ago

mary angela douglas 24 January 2014