Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Prince (Psalm 46:4)


The plan lived inside your breath.
You had it all worked out: each step,
each skip, hop, jump and leap through sandy time,
staining your bleach-white shoes mud-red—
the only mark you’d let years leave.
Dirty soles: the sign and surety of progress,

you had said.

The plan lived inside your breath,
and it took root and filled your people’s heart
till your desires swelled and pushed against our ribs.
And were we shocked to taste your words
heavy as our own thoughts on our tongues? No, no.

It was your destiny, your calling, to inspire; ours

the voices calling; and we murmured
happily that blessed day the queen gave birth
just as it was foretold
to a child without an umbilical cord, a child
fed by the water and the bread
of our own beloved land before he could know air

or the power of his jaw.

Sometimes I wonder if the myths are true.
I have never seen a man speaking more like a man      
to men, connecting with them
as tightly as two young trunks grown down toward a single root—
and this connection made with just three seconds
or three words.

I felt it too.

The plan inside your breath
colored our skies
till the sun shone with your skin’s bronze
and clouds with the flash of your irises.
It told us what to do with our hands
and the restless strength of our youth
and the weight of our sins.

And we were men

in love with the dreams of a child,
a silver-tongued boy,
a beautiful, blind blue eye
leading the blind.