Mercy 1/2 (after M L Smoker)

An answer arrives,
but it’s not words,
not even something
that you can hear.

–not that you
ever listen to anything
anyway–

How do you
recognize it?–
but you know
that your inside has shifted
into what it wasn’t–

At the same time
you are still where you were–
you still face towards impossibility
in every direction—

And yet your mind is not the same–
a strange memory you cannot name
has cleared a path between
the synapses of despair
and you can breathe again.

Is the light lost?
You leave a candle burning,
place it in the window–
come home

For the earthweal prompt of Seasonal Changes 1: IMBOLC hosted by Sarah.

Last year I wrote a series of poems inspired by M L Smoker’s poem, Mercy, which can be found in the anthology Native Voices, published by Tupelo Press. This poem is a combination of numbers 1 and 2.

19 thoughts on “Mercy 1/2 (after M L Smoker)

  1. ‘a strange memory you cannot name
    has cleared a path between
    the synapses of despair
    and you can breathe again.’

    -This is like a deep, poetic sigh of relief, welcoming the return of better times. I hope it will be imminent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “a strange memory you cannot name
    has cleared a path between
    the synapses of despair
    and you can breathe again.”
    …the synapses of despair, briliiant, startling artwork too!
    JIM

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been in Florida now for 40 years, but I recall some mad Januaries up in the Northwest sitting by a heat grate going mad. Getting lost in the ice. I call it now a shamanic experience, near-death and finding a deeper inner route: To have the candle’s flicker, to know it to see it, was to receive the inspiration that there would be a way out. A songline. – Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Brendan. The candles warm both inside and out. It’s fitting that I received so many as gifts this year. Many of my neighbors also keep their holiday lights in the windows well into February as I do.

      Like

  4. Such a beautiful, delicate piece, Kerfe, with equally beautiful, delicate artwork. It reminds me of the gradual dwindling away of my mother to dementia. Answers come in different forms – I recognise the feeling that ‘your inside has shifted / into what it wasn’t’ and the strange memory that ‘has cleared a path between / the synapses of despair’. Candles are just the thing to find the way home.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A very poignant poem and full of that ‘saudade’ of Portuguese fado; longing and loss but you have the candle in the window against all the odds. You seem to offer that hope is about resilience and perseverance.

    Liked by 1 person

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