Gains & Losses
Still in Madagascar After Chemotherapy
Henry Rousseau, "The Merry Jesters",  1906

Here in the darkness of foliage I am locked to the magnetic duff.  Spiders
and jeweled beetles chatter languages that ants carry away on leaves.
Ferns have time to grow and curl over my head.  The parrots of mystery
nest in a hollow tree just beyond my vision;  I hear their verbs.  Time is nothing
here.  I have not moved for a long time,  which is not to say I have not traveled.
Sun dapples and stretches away.  I blink.  Rains come,  and long silver tubes run
freeways along leaf margins and off the exaggereated tips.  All I do is open
my mouth to drink.  I am Elijah in a jungle,  broken down to bare essence.
Arrow-poison frogs perch on my folded ears,  but I am not afraid. A yellow-
tailed bird coaxes me with meat.  I ask and a ribbon floats down scribed
with answers that read both directions,  and still seem like truth.  A white,
night-blooming orchid breaks a pod-like bloom and sweetness lifts my body
off the forest floor.  It elevates the mind before it destroys cells I have tried
to heal.  I wake later when I am better--still in Madagascar with butterflies,
which gather on my bald head like a sparkling pool.  Their feathered feet
mark me with permanent scripture.


Photo Credit: US Geological Survey EROS Image Gallery

Copyright 2009,  Laura Snyder

Laura L. Snyder keeps scribbling in journals with a slanted profile so that words pour out in Seattle’s rainy weather.  Look for her in WazeeFlutter Poetry JournalCascade Journal,  Alimentum JournalSwitched-on Gutenberg,  Pontoon 9Chrysanthemum,  and Ekphrasis.

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