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RENÉE

Outside the sun is shining

 

She stands by the window – keep away from the window, they said, but

she wants to see the purple lady monks come and go and offer red roses

to the young children.  If they take one they will be lucky all their life,

if they refuse they will be even luckier but the moon will turn its back.

 

She stands by the window – keep away from the window, they said, but

she wants to see the sons march and break ranks before the waves

of mud and poppies cover them and they grow white-forked headstones

which make young women cry and old men write graffiti songs to Damascus.

 

She stands by the window – keep away from the window, they said, but

she wants to see the fire in the eyes of the woman who holds the blue iris

and stares out over the broken road down which her lover walked towards her

until a black shape moved from behind its rock and kissed those moving legs.

 

She stands by the window – keep away from the window, they said, but

she wants to see the daughters, bloody, bruised, limping – nights on the square

are often cruel to daughters – the dark angels, shields of jasmine, line their path

but too late, always too late and too easily swayed by the silver promises of bees.

 

She stands by the window – keep away from the window, they said, but

she wants to see the old men and women dance the lolly scramble excuse me

while the cellist with the axe poised like a monarch about to land on the swan

waits for a signal and high above on the mountain the statue dribbles gold.

 

She stands by the window – keep away from the window, they said, but

she wants to see the long crooked lily fingers on the wall creep away

from the light and become part of the dark so you don’t know which is dark

or which is creeping towards the bed in the corner where the small child sleeps.

 

She stands by the window – keep away from the window, they said, but

she needs to see that heap of scythes and broken limbs laid on the altar of words

while the tiger called redemption laughs because outside the sun is shining

against the earth the green truth presses still and there is a voice singing.

 

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