Sometimes I See Signs of Shadows, Brilliantly

slapSome days I spend an hour or two
Looking for the sign, the approaching break,
Bird that veers off from rest of the flock,
Feather that drops to the ground,
Glove removed from twitching hand.

I watch with care when hearts
Are close to bursting into flame,
Ignited by heaviness of hate or grief—
I study the sadness that looms
Like raincloud when its ready to storm,
Tension building in the room,
Preparing to let loose….
Laid out in clear sight on the table,
Shadows on wall  shudder with brilliance.

In winter, I look for the branch
Encased in ice, wait for the snap,
Breaking free from the tree—
Falling, leaving impression in snow
Far below in the drift, the rift
Reminding me when you slapped my face—
I failed to see it coming.

But the cold, rough memory of sting,
Wordless tears streaming down my face
Help me resolve:  Never again…. Never again
Will I fail to see the approach of shuddering night.
So I wait, and I watch, and sometimes
I see signs of unsteady fading light,
Your eyes flash lightening—
And that’s when I know to run.

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