Mercedes Lawry

Unto Dust

Assembly of chrysanthemums
left for dead in the gloom of September.
The terrible birds are unforgiving
with their raspy cries.  If only a brutal
shout would startle them out of the sky.
What was the beginning has faded now
to the end and I am left with only
pale reasons, like a portion of a telegram,
few notes of a sonata.  No fevered
syllables will tell it better.  This distress
goes past the failing muscle, breathing, flow
of blood.  This is more than a fragility
of broken love.  I can't find purchase,
can't situate myself as mass and shadow
laid upon the ground.  The damp
comes into my bones with eagerness,
stray leaves settle against my cheek.
Reclaimed like this, I see no reason
to let consciousness back in, no
purpose in becoming that same, starved woman.

Copyright 1999,  Mercedes Lawry

Mercedes Lawry has been publishing poetry for twenty-three years in such magazines as Fine Madness, Seattle Review, Madison Review, Hawaii Pacific Review and Switched-on Gutenberg.  She's received an Artist Trust GAP Grant and a residency at Hedgebrook.  She has also published stories for children.

Switched-on Gutenberg
Contents / Vol. 4, No. 1
Back / Forward