Way With Words
written by: Karima Hoisan
I lost my way with words when I lost you.
I had this way with them, I was the gentle trainer,
and words were pigeons, squabbling,
until I coaxed them to their place;
and even if I let them go, a thousand miles from where you lived,
I know…because I know…
you felt their wings aflutter, trying to get back home upon your chest,
and there they stayed a while, before they laid upon my sheet to rest.
The odd thing was,
you did not speak the language that they carried deep inside,
nor could you decipher tomes of books, that were written just for you.
You only smiled because you felt them coo.
When I worked in the Circo de Verbose,
I used to line them up, those wild words,
like rearing elephants adorned in plumed helmets,
a Byzantine Army of lines,
in perfect rhythm, marching to endless time.
Majestic, regal, powerful, they could crush those underneath,
but when I felt them crushing me,
I raised my arms and they went limp and willing,
until I took control once more,
that they might continue to return.
I needed no whip, no self imposed “write or else.”
It came so easily for me.
The day you cracked open wide my heart,
and out they spilled upon the floor,
of course you were not there to see…
Your absence, and the hope you would return,
was really what made the mystery,
permitting them to turn back into poetry.
But now you’ve traveled further,
than my words can ever reach;
you have gone beyond the need for words,
and I have lost the touch.
Because there is no longer any hope of seeing you,
I let my animals out, now they all roam free.
They no longer work for me.
They no longer parade and line-up prettily,
nor do they fly and soar to raw emotion that used to be my poetry.
But words become afraid to leave, and huddle in the shadows,
if they stay too long in cages, and you open up their door.
And I, who once thought I had a way with them,
I have a way with them no more.
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