Posted tagged ‘what those who believed in purgatory maybe knew poem’

What Those Who Believed in Purgatory Maybe Knew

October 15, 2014


What Those Who Believed in Purgatory Maybe Knew

That there were dry spaces, in-between places,
where one must step through slews of shriveled souls
like so many fallen leaves–the faces,
crimped at the curves as old potatoes,

yet, still eyed–  where one would mute one’s gait
to cause no crackling, slide to not break a spine
(nor crush the dun spine once had backed). No, the game
was to walk as one walked through clover, thyme,

to schuss the crinkling wince, as if they were bees
that buzzed beneath, bees that didn’t truly
wish to sting, but needed warning of lithe feet;
to walk the freeze as one might walk July–

except with mourning pace, with low-bowed head–
just in case they traced your gaze, these waiting dead–


Here’s a poem that’s gone through many iterations, in part because this is one of those I read to someone else (my husband) when still in draft, and he kept telling me he liked some earlier no-longer-quite-intact version better.  This is not one of the earlier, allegedly better, versions.  The only claim I can make is that it’s a sonnet–and it’s unintentionally Halloweeny–I am posting it belatedly for With Real Toads, hosted by Magaly Guerrero.  I am also going to hazard posting this for Izy Gruye’s “out of standard” prompt re zombies, since this may be the closest to zombies, I can get today (without looking into a mirror.)

Yes, it gets a little rhyme-y there at the end.  And the pic (mine) should really be browner leaves, which in fact is the case in upstate New York where I live–but I am in Manhattan just now, where the leaves are still pretty green!