A figure of breathtaking beauty
glides across the center square,
his classic attire announcing success,
his god-like countenance turning heads.
His velvety deep voice hints at an accent,
stirring imaginations and desire.
He pauses every so often to greet another
with warmth and genuine compassion,
but his heart is set on me.
Juxtaposed to my husband,
I huddle next to the storefronts,
sidling between columns
hiding my agedness and homely visage.
I wear my unworthiness with shame
Confident only of the precariousness of this union.
He is taking me to the seaside,
Proudly leading me to the water’s edge.
Reluctantly, I follow
the shimmering lure of the water
sparkling in the distance,
and the broad open beach leering with disdain –
under the blazing reality of this day
the world will see me for what I am.
* * *
The hotel window overlooks the square
and the crowd that has gathered there.
Searching for the source of commotion
I glimpse a woman, shackled by the wrists,
chained to an ox and cart.
Horrified, compelled to help,
I rush to save her, but am too late.
She stumbles just outside my reach
and is dragged to her end.
I reel with revulsion,
My mind racing with confusion,
What crime could this woman have committed;
what sin to commit her to such a vile death?
She seemed such an ordinary woman,
tall and proud, not long out of her youth,
She had the weary look of a young mother,
stern, yet impassioned – the lioness,
protective of her brood –
now the victim of public persecution.
* * *
I stand in a darkened doorway,
a beam of light from the street
casting an eerie glow on the scene before me:
a baby, despondent from unanswered cries
abandoned in its playard
stares at me with deep, black eyes,
and attempts to rise,
raising one hand to reach for me,
then falling back on his sodden bottom.
I will myself to pick him up,
but am wrenched back into consciousness –
it has all been a dream.
* * *
Ego drives in the waking times,
delusions of self-understanding,
control and clear motivations
its steering wheel –
It is only a facade.
Below the surface,
a history of turmoil,
and untapped resources
simmers in anticipation,
conjuring dreams to awaken us –
metaphorical mysteries to
tantalize and illicit questioning.
The self is a deep pool,
harbouring a wealth of treasures,
reminding us there is always more to strive for,
inviting us to take the plunge.
Somewhere inside me is unparalleled beauty,
confidence, and grace,
there is merciless persecution –
both victim and participant-
and there is innocence abandoned and neglected.
Somewhere inside me,
this self-defacing identity
has hope of reparation –
and this relenting sense of futility
may uncover renewed purpose.