I have been worshiping with all of my ornaments intact
Your lute leans in the darkness against a wall of years
And we dance
We have always danced well together

The lie throws my body into aching
My knees bend from the strain of bearing
This particular dress
This white habit
This choking sari with butterfly sleeves
No matter how many turns I maneuver
How often I conjure new ways of wrapping
It never conceals my flesh
But dances out from me like separate skin
I molt in a reversal of seasons
Larva in your stunned hands
My love, did you order this garment from a gifted seamstress?
Did I?

We are out of step
My knees already crusty with kneeling grow limp
As a pair of crabs
Washed up, searching
For the sea

 “Mutations” appeared in Gargoyle 1978.



Perpetual Care

I will visit the grave
when the distance
between us becomes

In the spring perhaps
when the mound is plowed
of old grief
I will bring azaleas
hard pink and hearty

The headstone will be ordered
and I will find
an epitaph

And I will come again
and again
to this place
because it is in me
to grant perpetual care
to all things
dead or living

And this is home, is it not
this graveyard
where each mound is marked
only after failure
have we not lain here together
blending with our limestone walls
to our jerry-built mausoleum
daddy (and mummy)
but this is no joke
has become rather
a prayer
a poultice

“Perpetual Care” appeared  in  Gargoyle 1978.

Copyright © 2012 by Donna Brookman Kaulkin. All rights reserved. Web site built by Cantus Firmus Web Solutions