Wayward Daughter

Back and forth I travel searching
for her – retrace every bend, curve,
detour – back to the water, the sand,
the beach where I lost her; haunted by

those velvet brown eyes – bedroom eyes,
they told her, men with greedy loins,
calculating – I lost her to the lure of
alcohol, to the pounding beat of drums,

in those smoky corners so far removed
from the purity of her dreams….
it’s been an arduous journey, some days
so lost in the daze of forgetting; I cycle

back, memories of manhood exposed,
egos craving stroking, how she learned
what men wanted, learned to numb
the disappointment with fast-talk

and all-nighters, suppressed tears,
discovered that words hold no promise,
and water is deep, and going within
is a dark, foreboding place, and worth

is shrouded by the shame of discovering
that even the father she adored was not
as she’d thought, and that this primal
urge she felt for mating was a trap

designed to eradicate her beauty, not
enhance it…I need to find her, hold
her afloat in sacred waters, help her feel
the healing light of a thousand women’s

hearts all bleeding as one, all warped
by the same convoluted messages
about womanhood – that lust is sinful
and copulation a man’s domain, and

that in order to be espoused she must
forego her own nature, tame the wild,
settle for loss of control…but as much
as I travel these lonely roads, I cannot

find her, the traces of her innocence
washed away by the tides, lines now
on my aged face…if you see her, please
hold her close, protect her from beasts,

hold her until the beauty of her being
is a solid knowing, and the shame has
been vanquished; and that being a vessel
for man’s release is not her only purpose.

 

 

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