Ever rising...above and beyond
I am the phoenix.
Phoenix, wind flamed,
wild fiery tongues lashing--
ever rising from the ashes of once was.
I ascend from the charred remains of charcoal dreams:
mis-spun childhood fantasy
woven from faery tale lore of fool’s gold threads
coloured happily ever after.
Naïve expectations frayed into poor choices;
Seeking remnants, finding rags.
Princes: masked, poisonous spitting spiders.
No mere frogs, but brown recluse nightmares
spinning ground glass webs, mirror sharp-
mimicking what I wanted to see. Reality reflection:
I would lie broken, shattered physically- my
Mind a morass of clouded perceptions, ground
Under heel, into the dirt until there was nothing left
but a tiny flicker.
Flame searing pain ravages, burns truth
like red-hot brand scorching flesh.
Ribs torn loose from the backbone I didn’t have,
fingers wrenched from tortured wrists,
violent handprint tattoos.
Perhaps it was damaged brain cells, star shaped scar tissues
Forming that knocked sense into me, shot the stars
From my eyes. Heart tears couldn’t wash away the dirt,
And they didn’t douse the flame,
that flickered brighter.
Grabbing what I could, tossing the pieces of my life
into the car. Strange what gains importance;
what is valued so highly one risks everything not to leave it behind.
My dog, odd pictures, a few things tossed out the door in the ashes.
Everyday movement, turning the key in the ignition shot fire
Living, breathing, engulfing fire up my arm,
I drove down the road, blood dripping down the side of the car.
Smoky images of kind faces, strangers compassionate, gentle
voices calming night terrors, reassuring me that I was safe,
that my puppy was being cared for, that I would be ok.
OK. I wasn’t sure what that was anymore.
flared out of the darkness,
lighting new torches to lead me
in to the dawn,
and the flame grew strength.
Cross-country road trip on donated funds.
Escaping half a country away, following unknown byways,
Losing myself along the way, looking over my shoulder in fear,
Yet going forward. I became a wanderer,
Meandering, leaving no trail behind.
Somewhere in Ohio, I ate an ice cream cone because I wanted one.
Sitting in a truck stop, puppy licking fallen vanilla drops,
I realized I’d stopped looking over my shoulder.
I no longer was running from.
I was going to.
Time passed, as it inexorably does. How trite.
How terribly important. Marks faded. Glimpses caught
in mirrors no longer reflected shadowed eyes, fright whitened features.
I discovered I had bootstraps, and I used ‘em.
Retrospection bewilders me, how blind, how helpless, how pathetic.
I saw a stranger in those caustic memories.
How could we be one? I knew I’d never completely leave
that shadow behind, but the sun was now overhead.
All that is left behind after a conflagration.
Much as the forest returns,
stronger than before
after the raging fires scorch the ground,
I, too, am reborn.
Born from ash,
burning with new intensity:
I am the phoenix.
wild, fiery tongued.
from the ashes
of once was.