15 July 2013

Tuesday Poem: "Gamp"

~ from a Lansing sky photo by Amanda R. Morgan

The street a long, black pall
with phone poles along it
ten feet apart, that street
is Amanda’s to walk on
or along, with rain water
in her eyes. A twosome
hurries by, gripping a gamp
between them, a giant bat wing.
They do not look at the pink
fingernail polish on
her bare toes, those sea eyes.
Some say it is why the rain
is falling, why the street
has become this slow waterfall.
Her sweater, soaked at the edges,
holds water that befell her,
but Amanda thinks of Darfur
and the desert where rain
is failing, and decides to go there
where there are no main streets
yet children play hope
in the sand. The red sea parts
as she comes through, just
like Moses and the Israelites
who fled the chariots of Egypt—
and she finds herself on a street
bordered by two high aquaria;
she parts her hair in a gesture
and strides again forward,
having gone back in history
like someone who might light
people’s fire with the blue flame
of an eye, heal them, but, chiefly
want to know, this especially,
only one truth about gods:
whether a child’s health
is less significant than death.
__________


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4 comments:

Helen McKinlay said...

Some amazing imagery in this poem,
'she finds herself on a street
bordered by two high aquaria;'
A powerful poem!

Rethabile said...

Hi Helen,
Thank you, very kind. Amanda's original picture gave me a first, initial version, but the whole quickly veered away from that first thought, except for a few remnants here and there, like the rain and the gamp.

Thank you again

Michelle Elvy said...

I always find so much in your poetry. Such images and places brought to life with phrasings like this:

where there are no main streets
yet children play hope
in the sand.

Gorgeous, and vivid.

Glad to stop in again...

Rethabile said...

Thank you, Michelle. Outside the gratitude I feel after writing a poem, there's this: my poem pleasing someone else.