Monday, August 11, 2008

Will We Wait for the Children?

Here's my effort for this week's prompt. I'm not a poet, so this can't be a poem, but it's not a short story either. It's writing, my thoughts since I saw the prompt.

Will We Wait for the Children?

A cerulean butterfly edged in gold lifts off for the last time
from high in the canopy of a Brazilian rain forest.
The tree falls and extinct becomes forever
linked with this exceptional insect.
Cars roar down the freeway, filled one by one with a person for each, while the ice drips, drips, drips, into the ocean far away.
She wrinkles her brow and wonders how will they ever manage?
He tugs her skirt, looking up through ageless eyes,
and says, “Wait for me.”

It’s not right he knows
but the power he carries is easily swung like a club
to get what he wants.
She’s beautiful and option-less and he takes what he can,
Morality not even given a walk-on part
Because the stage is crowded with disrespect and anger.
She walks down the dark alleyway, glancing over her shoulder
hoping luck is on her side.
But it’s not.
She swings her short legs as she sits on the tall chair
staring at him across the table,
his face ravaged with heavy thoughts his mind can barely carry.
She smiles at him. “Wait for me.”

She carries her religion like a beloved coat on a too hot day,
it can’t be removed though sometimes it would
make things more comfortable.
They hate her for it.
They’ll kill her if they get a chance.
A death to prove theirs is right and hers is wrong.
Spirit killing actions in defence of philosophies
meant to raise them higher.
He rubs his hand across the gold lettering
on the red leather front of the holy book
and whispers to it, “Wait for me.”

He shoots mindlessly in all directions
since his thoughts are encased in ice cold fear,
Thoughts no longer working right.
He’s seen things they shouldn’t have let him.
One group after another sent to fight on battlefields
for causes only the rich truly understand.
Fresh faced and optimistic,
they end bloodied and bruised, inside and out; unfixable.
She sucks in her young breath, and blocks her ears.
But she holds a secret in her heart that tells her all will be okay,
if only they can wait for her.


Selma said...

Lauri, there is so much to consider in this piece. The damage we are doing to the planet, the damage we are doing to ourselves. Such profound commentary interspersed with the most beautiful imagery. So many lines made an impact on me but my two favourites are : 'A cerulean butterfly edged in gold' and 'She's beautiful and option-less.' Oh, yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about. Excellent piece.

Lauri said...

Thanks Selma. I just had a bunch of thoughts and couldn't quite get them to make a short story. I'm off to Gaborone tomorrow for the rest of the week and I didn't want to miss the time for the prompt.

africanaspects said...

Fascinating piece - interesting how you've summarised the state of the world today in a few paragraphs! I blog randomly at - do stop by if you have a minute to spare.

Anonymous said...

"Here's my effort for this week's prompt. I'm not a poet, so this can't be a poem, but it's not a short story either. It's writing, my thoughts since I saw the prompt".

Let's just call it a prose-poem and say that it's evocative, provocative, and beautifully written. Thanks, DavidM

chrisalmajose said...

So breathtaking and profound! Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...

This is beautifully written. Very poetic. I like much of the phrases and imagery. Thanks, Autumn.

Lauri said...

Everyone- thanks for stopping by, reading, and leaving such nice comments. I'm just back from three days of performance poetry and all I can say is WOW! Still processing.

Ms. Karen said...

I think you're more of a poet than you realize. This speaks volumes of what is happening everywhere, and you've said it in such a way that I'll never forget.

Lauri said...

Karen thanks. Maybe I need to read more poetry to try and understand it better. I always feel a bit out of my depth to be honest.