Sunday, February 24, 2008

She Walks On

She walks on, alone.

Leaving shadows and their secrets,
Bronzed backs broken, miseries muted,
Their once-sweet souls sucked clean.
Used up and useless now,
Digested and then discarded,
Secured and purpose served,
Savored—not in memory, forgotten
Like so many candy wrappers,
Picked up by the wind and
Put down by the rain and
Smothered in the snow:
All those seasons accounted for
In their empty eyes that no longer see.

She walks on.
But make no mistake, she knows:
She knows what she’s done and
She knows what she will do again,
And again she understands, inside
She can control time and defy the devils
Of age and faith and fear,
And the misfortunes of the flesh
That come calling, always too early
And always after—it’s already over and then
Her heart is hollowed-out, eaten up
By the same urgency that was once her ally.
Impatient and insatiable, unyielding even as her eyes
Cry, mirrors of the memories she made:
Her heart, used up and useless now
She walks on, alone.

Sean Murphy, 9-15-02

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