Epiphany

A little something different today. My writing mentor, Katerina Whitley, gave our group a wonderful prompt and a poem flowed out. I highly recommend everything she does to you, but most especially her memoir Myth and Memory: My Childhood in WWII Greece. Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/Myth-Memory-Childhood-WWII-Greece/dp/0578762919/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3PPX368B3ASBW&dchild=1&keywords=myth+and+memory+katerina+whitley&qid=1608584932&sprefix=myth+and+memory%2Caps%2C186&sr=8-1

Now for the result to the prompt…

I am a paradox of hot and cold.
I emerge;
a blue tint to what are otherwise very rosy lips.
The mountain water hails from deep inside where the sun cannot reach;
its cold hunts the deep within again and finds temporary harbor in my bones.
My body would shiver if it weren’t too embarrassed to betray its defeat
at the pinnacle of summer.

I climb the bank, reaching for roots and weeds and stumps that groan
even as they grant me purchase.
My sliding feet erode the bank and add to the thick coat of fine sand that covers me.
What feels rough and irritated now will become soft and supple tomorrow.

My arms, face, and legs feel crackly and shattered on the surface
as the water yields to the sun’s rays,
not yet replaced by my own secretions of oil and sweat.
My skin unhappily sits in that strange in-between.
I look down to see it shimmering no longer from the wet but from the deposits of mica dust
left behind by the fleeing dirt.

There’s a flat place I know where moss mingles with grass
and leaves cast off long ago by autumn;
the spot calls out to me, “Sanctuary!”

I release into the ground, bringing my right arm to supply a pillow in a way
that only feels comfortable in summertime
when we all pretend to be young and free.

I warm and begin to return heat to the sun it so generously gives
without question or qualification.
But there are cool spots painting me in Appaloosa themes
where the leaves overhead claim the sunlight for themselves.
They make better use of the light in a way necessary to sustain all of life;
whereas I merely beg for it to turn me red from blue again.

The blood racing from my hands and feet eagerly adds to the forest’s feast;
lungs forcing out the cold in their hunger for air filled with sunlight.
I close my eyes and smell summer,
an ineffable aroma that carries with it similarly unknown and inutterable memories.

I can do naught but surrender and marvel at the exchange within and around me.

Even the light bursts and dims through my lids with the dance above me,
leaves catching the breeze and only inconsequentially dropping shadows along the way.
This moment will return to me some future day,
born on a similar breeze full of mica and creek water mixed with lusty heat,
never again to be spoken of but forever to be cherished.

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