Sunday, August 25, 2013

Camouflaged by Someday


Susan Macdowell Eakins "Portrait of Mary
& Elizabeth Macdowell" (detail) 1879


I struggle so with words
and with each stitch of thread
you tell a story in their chains.

Why are we so different dear sister?
I am a recluse peering through
the curtains at life outside my window.

You wrap yourself in your knitted wool
and face the world with a smile
whether it is friend or foe that greets you.

With tongue glued by secrets I whither
on a vine I nurture each time I retreat
into the cracked shell of childhood.

You were there for each strike of word and palm,
but father was never able to beat
your spirit into submission.

You are a lesson I have yet to learn.
I paint myself with someday praying
I can move beyond its camouflage into freedom.



©Susie Clevenger 2013

At Real Toads Margaret offered beautiful artwork as inspiration for our poetry. The above painting by Susan Macdowell Eakins inspired my poem.

2 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is so moving, Susan. It is amazing how the same abuse can affect siblings quite differently. I think you poem touches on a very real issue.

Margaret said...

Wow - I was drawn to her face and the emotion behind it, too. The "sewer" does does see to have a stubborn tilt to her chin. Yes, siblings can be so differenet...