immeasurable

by Dale McLain
Wild Poetry Forum
Honorable Mention, August 2007
Judged by Deborah Bogen


In the year that caught me in its rusty snare,
cornered me, rolled me like a bum,
I grew an inch. Impossible, you might say.
Middle-aged ladies do not grow taller,
only wider, sadder, greyer. But it’s the truth.
I felt every millimeter in my bones.
The October sky was closer than it had ever been.

From my new perspective I could see
things that I’d forgotten. A footstep
was a mile. Each heartbeat claimed an hour.
So odd, that I was tighter bound
than a spool of coarse thread, but felt
as if my arms were feathered things
unfurled against a coastal wind.

In the year when I was laid open
by a silvery blade, cut from scalp to toe,
I was contained within folded petals
a blossom, cotton white and ready
for spring’s kiss. I bled with joy,
a narrow river that went before me
as a thin rouged trail I knew was mine.

I learned to live unforgiven, came to own
a sorrow as deep as a December night
and a gladness that danced like stars
upon the sea. Things begin so slyly, steal
upon us like a summer twilight. I stand
altered, a tower dedicated to the next breath
drawn. Nothing fits me anymore.



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