As the Christian's sorrows multiply, his patience grows, until, with sweet, unruffled quiet, he can confront the ills of life, and, though inwardly wincing, can calmly pursue his way to the restful grave, while his old, harsh voice is softly cadenced into sweetest melody, like the faint notes of an angel's whispered song. As patience deepens, charity and sympathy increase.
George Horace Lorimer
hear the language, this English, double-jointed as Bedivere's limbs. It only sounds awkward. In its ability to join one concept to another as with pegs, its dependent clauses, figures of speech and cadenced alliteration, a man can say one thing five ways and yet imply a sixth; can change meaning with an inflection, a pause or a deliberate misuse of a word, can mock, scorn and flay an opponent without uttering one overt insult.
STAINS With red clay between my toes, and the sun setting over my head, the ghost of my mother blows in, riding on a honeysuckle breeze, oh lord, riding on a honeysuckle breeze. Her teeth, the keys of a piano. I play her grinning ivory notes with cadenced fumbling fingers, splattered with paint, textured with scars. A song rises up from the belly of my past and rocks me in the bosom of buried memories. My mama's dress bears the stains of her life: blueberries, blood, bleach, and breast milk; She cradles in her arms a lifetime of love and sorrow; Its brilliance nearly blinds me. My fingers tire, as though I've played this song for years. The tune swells red, dying around the edges of a setting sun. A magnolia breeze blows in strong, a heavenly taxi sent to carry my mother home. She will not say goodbye. For there is no truth in spoken farewells. I am pregnant with a poem, my life lost in its stanzas. My mama steps out of her dress and drops it, an inheritance falling to my feet. She stands alone: bathed, blooming, burdened with nothing of this world. Her body is naked and beautiful, her wings gray and scorched, her brown eyes piercing the brown of mine. I watch her departure, her flapping wings: She doesn't look back, not even once, not even to whisper my name: Brenda. I lick the teeth of my piano mouth. With a painter's hands, with a writer's hands with rusty wrinkled hands, with hands soaked in the joys, the sorrows, the spills of my mother's life, I pick up eighty-one years of stains And pull her dress over my head. Her stains look good on me.
Brenda Sutton Rose