"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

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.


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...

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