Breton’s Suitcase

Blades of frozen emerald grass spear his feet,
The earth moving in pillow soft glides,
Moving him,
Edging him nearer the ledge
Of a fisherman’s peg engulfed,
Its steeped gulf bank, a cake of brick red clay,
Again, it is that day.

The suitcase swings heavily,
A swaying, swollen matriarch’s womb,
Pendulum against gnomon limbs,
Bare legs below pleats of green and brown.
A foot slips, sinks down
Then reclaims its stand,
On higher ground that proves unsound.
So down they go, not fast but slow
Descent described by every aching pained word he ever heard.
Cool the rising tide against his boughs,
His descent begins
Not pulled or pushed,
There is no rush;
Even the rushes hush.

Tight is the clasp of his hand
On the handle of his case, with its weight of ticked-off time,
Drawing him, leading him asunder
To the darkness where silent lives are plundered.
So, IT he awaits, he gasps, then breathes.
Without gills, below water still
And warm and clear,
Where he swims in amazement and lack of fear,
Till the case breaks open its huge mouth,
And he then silently shouts,
As the weight of all the water flows out.
Into the sound where he makes no sound,
Where cloths of his wash and whirl,
And with his fingers he does grasp.
And then at last
With a broken case clasp,
He sees the sky again.

How pointless now this case?
Its contents a continent of barren waste.
With compass, map, and sextants none,
On foreign shores he heads for home
And in this land where stones have eyes,
And trees are all his enemies’ spies,
From sharpened Crow and Raven’s beaks
The voices in the playground speak,
They chase, harass and harangue for miles
Past broken windows and stacked up piles,
Of smashed-up terracotta tiles,
That slash his skin and stab his eyes;
But cannot erase his now fixed smile.

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