Monday, December 24, 2007

Ode to Ovum


In the beginning
I was her prisoner,
and I did not love her.
I did not even know her
in the womb darkness;
tiny, warm,
with blind eyes closed,
listening to her strong heart beat
and sucking
her hot red blood.

Time was liquid black
and I embraced perfect
Yet fool that I was,
I longed for freedom,
and she gave it to me
all at once;
sights, sounds, roars, lights, smells, shrieks, life.

Pain and milk came quickly
and I grew
fat and tossle-haired.
As I tested my world,
ate bugs and coal,
burned my fingers,
buried my nose in flowers and snow,
and asked why, why, why,
she loved patiently,
wiping my nose,
teaching me about gentleness
in the garden
and in men.

She wept when I did,
her tears streaking
her face powder,
her chin quivering.

I remember her still
towering over me,
with sun-streaked chestnut tresses,
and eyes of
snowbank sapphire,
the withering,
the time of
cancer blight.

Hollow cheeks,
glassy eyes staring
at nothing.

Life flickering
like a candle flame
too near the holder,
once white hot
and alive;
dead now,
wisps of sad smoke
lingering after it.

Glenn Buttkus
November 1966

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