03 March 2016

Lady Beauty Part II: Unquiet Darkness

"My Mary’s asleep by thy murmuring stream
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream." -Robert Burns, "Sweet Afton"



Frankly, I was dreading company
The day she came to my door
My pedantic thoughts were banished
The day she came to my door
It was neither the neighbor nor the phone company
The day she came to my door
It was the Girl with the Curly Hair.

We pretended to watch a movie
I did most of the laughing
We pretended to play a board game
I did most of the playing
She never mentions him
Now she’s crying again
Getting my shirt all wet
I did nothing.
I said nothing.

She said she doesn’t feel
Like playing games anymore, and
Would it be alright
If she just lay her head down
Like this, on my lap?

She closed her eyes, I stroked her hair.
Did she straighten it?
Or has she been curling it all along?
It’s different than I remember
Or maybe I never really looked
She never mentions him.

But I know that this
Must be
What he used to do
Who
Does she think I am?

And yet
To see her eyelids tremble thus
My pedantic thoughts were banished
One cannot help but shudder
At the brush of unquiet darkness
And misery, like water
Knows no other path
So she came to my door.




***




Time pays no heed
To the permeable quietude of grief
And my heart beats to the inescapable rhythm
Pleading
My Mary’s asleep by thy murmuring stream
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream

Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream




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