Wednesday, March 28, 2012

W is for Wolverine and revised poem

Benny and the Wolverine
For the Sketchbook Project for the Brooklyn Art Museum.

and from my Cowbird "journal:"

Into the Flame-Trees

I want to apologize, because this is a new version of an "old" story, one I wrote yesterday for Sara Nics, but have revised it enough that I want to repost it.

Into the Flame-Trees

How can I, tired, travel-weary, and toughened
to boot-leather, find my way home
to myself? I look for a trail back to the person I was, once, sweet,
smiling, innocent, but the trail has grown up with briars
and Russian olive, a thicket as sharp and impenetrable
as the past. Looking into that haunted darkness,
I see a gauntlet of memories, terrors and nightmares.
and the lost child I seek, the one
who contains my goodness, lifts her arms toward me and wails.
To reach her, to lift her to my heart, I must fight
my way back through thornapple, cut-grass and poison ivy.
I must unravel strands of rusted barbed wire
like the maiden, Eliza, who wove sweaters
of nettles until her hands bled. My blood
acts as a compass, spins out the direction
to trek. But I fear I am not strong enough, energetic enough,
courageous enough to make the journey home. I raise
one bare foot, step into the prickly ash, and howl.
My child-self, my heart, calls to me, from a vast distance,
a small cry, almost inaudible, like that of a newborn,
taking her first breath.

Mary Stebbins Taitt
for Sara Nics, Frankie the K and Brian P
120328-1001-2a(4), 120327-1815-1c(3), 120327-1538-1st
"If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing
evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the
rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil
cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing
to destroy a piece of his own heart?
-Alexander Solzhenitsyn, novelist, Nobel laureate (1918-2008)
photo credit, Bruce W. Stebbins, 1973. In photo: me and Amy Mincolla, who is standing in for my inner child in this story. The photo was in upstate NY, but I used Detroit as the location, because that's where I am now.

(Poem originally posted to Cowbird)


John said...

Excellent in every way.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thank you so much for your kindness, John! :-D