Growing flesh around the darkened hole death springs from,
the bark hardens around the hollow in the bole,
the secret place you love for no known reason.
Dressed in a chiton, playing the role of nymphic
servant to unseen Pan, you slide into the loamy darkness,
your wood-rot scented hide. Adolescent haunches
squat in soft soil. You have a shepherd’s pie you bought
with two week’s allowance. Treated bamboo and garish
dyed bands, producing a sound your mind makes melodious.
The tree speaks with the borrowed breath of a wounded girl.
Saturday is for hiding, drawing strength from the earth.
Sundays still belong to grampy, his evil, elderly
entitlement; right of patriarchy to penetrate
beyond the heart of innocence, which grows no armor-bark.
Joy:Thorns is © Bethany W Pope
Crown 3: Alchemy
The corridors run, binding us together
Out of glistening red and blue wires. I begin to
Understand the composition of my body,
Generated from matrices of history and flesh.
Here are my mother’s breasts, they rise from my chest,
Retaining the form they had in her lost youth. My
Eyes are my fathers; they entered the stream through his
Father’s mother. Flesh and brain, spirit, soul, an internal
Unending source that mingles past and future, feeding me.
Salvation from misery, the remnants of an
Aching jaw, is found in reviewing the struggle. My
Life, redeemed through recognition of its features in
The faces, the stories of the ancestors who
Owned my blood in the beginning. I am myself, and them.
from Bloodlines; An Emperor’s Crown © Bethany W. Pope