Past the Potter’s Field

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March 26, 2014 by scratchtype1

Too few run past the crows who never promised
to act as guards of a potter’s field. So you
don’t stop here when there may be the hope

of crocuses farther on. How much is an ache worth
these days among the many acres here?
The night had enough time to make the mud

cool and thick in between the patches of snow.
So you run, a faint memory of honey on the lips
and tongue, the times when milk was sweet. Now this

is the floodplain before you, before your naked
legs and feet, before you it is mud and matted reeds,
it is a promise that’s been long forgotten by others

who you once hoped would hold true. So into the gap
and across the steel train tracks and sharp gravel, you leave
the buried indigent to the crows’ watch and go to run

to a river’s edge where the crocuses are held
in the bow of the river. It’s nearly too much to see
them grow. Almost wearily you drop upon your knees

into mud, your toes raw and cold in the puddles behind.
Far off you hear the crows. Part of you sighs, part
of you moans, part of you thinks to shove your face

into the earthy loam and make your face lose definition.
You speak a name and there is no echo with so low a voice.
You speak it again and feel your heart twist as you sound

more and more like those crows, those guardians of the dead
and forgotten. Soon your fingers are poised at the stems
of the vulnerable crocuses. Soon you might steal them.

Then you pull back the hands and push hard against bare ground.
You speak the name so low this time it falls without weight
or sound and then with how quiet the feet can be while bare,

you rise and run until your shadow can chase you no more.


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