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Cape Cod, United States
__I see with young eyes, an old mirror. Here, I hope to offer... as I see.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Departure 20
__This... was scribbled in November of 2002. _m

SUBWAY HERO
                          
I had been there many times before,
                           And shrank in the clash of it all;
Breathing in the smells and sights
                           Of this cavern, this grimy hall.

The stretch of countless rushing trains,
                           Burned rubber, and electric sweat;
Pulsing through this living cell,
                           In foulest dust beset.

Above the grinding, toneless clatter,
                           A lonely voice was heard;
Cutting through this screeching din,
                           Saying but a single word.

"Repent," he coughed and blubbered through
                          His spirit sodden lips;
A broken, beaten, filthy beast,
                          That spat through lathered drips.

"Repent," he wheezed, and again that word,
                          Echoed through this oily hall;
And every step he took my way,
                          Surged my memory's crawl.

"Repent," he neighed as he reached my feet,
                          Whiskey bleeding from each eye;
He caught my gaze, then hid his face,
                          Then spewed his crippled sigh.

"Repent," he mumbled, then spilled away,
                          Wretched, reeking and worn;
Siding off in greasy steps,
                          He vanished, within his scorn.

Stunned, I followed those sodden eyes,
                         For what was there was known;
And I listened for that single word
                          "Repent," this drunkard's drone.

I searched and searched through noise and filth,
                          To find this wasted soul;
I rummaged every crack and den,
                         And every wretched hole.

I found my kin, in the muck and lice,
                          Curled in a fetal ball;
And I prayed he seemed again to me,
                          As he did when I was small.

He waved me off, and spat out words,
                          Preaching me in err;
That I should turn and walk away,
                          And leave him to his lair.

Not a brother, he said to me
                          Don't sorrow for my fall;
Go you back... to your life of ease,
                          I'm no brother after all.

Go quickly to your wife and young,
                         And leave me to my cave;
A rotting soul I am, you've seen,
                         Just searching for my grave.

Against my will, I honored his,
                         Stealing courage, I stepped my length;
And I heard his anxious, whispered plea;
                         Brother, leave with me your strength.
                                    _
I've returned, uncounted times,
                         To this subway's sour gloom;
To search for him, within this beast,
                         Before he found his tomb.

But not the word, nor sight I'd see
                         Within this cavern's sore;
Of brother or beast, or broken man,
                         That wasted soul once more.

Then one day, in horror's grasp, "Repent,"
                         I heard, and I spun about;
To a brilliant light in my brother's eyes,
                         That beast... he had cast out!

When last we met, his shining words,
                         You gave as I did plea;
You took your leave, but left your strength,
                         And with it, I burst free!

This was my grave, this subway vault,
                         But hope, in your leaving fell;
To the strength you left, as you stepped away,
                         Your faith, has fought my spell.

I pass that faith in tearless fight,
                         To my brothers barrowed near;
That they may broach their hollow hell,
                         To slay that beast of fear.
                          _ _

When I return to this evil place,
                        To search within its reek;
I listen for his single word, his hymn
                         Is the sound I seek.

                             And

"Repent," bursts through this mortal clamor,
                         And with his messaged call;
My Brother is again to me... the hero,
                         He was... when I was small.

_m

                        

11 comments:

Gwil W said...

Phew!
Wow!
Pow!

Jan said...

absolutely wonderful!!!

sandy said...

well.....i have chills and tears - this was really powerful.

Lisa Isabella Russo said...

What a powerful poem. I am moved.

Sandy said...

I was going to say powerful, but see that the others have that covered. This poem hits hard.

Jennifer Wagner said...

This gave me chills. So stirring and beautiful. What a treat to have a longer piece to read of yours.

TALON said...

Gorgeous, D. Brilliant. So amazing to read a longer piece of yours. I hope you share more of them!

Bill said...

Didn't know you went in for longer forms. Three lines is my limit.

Magyar said...

DEPARTURE(S): wander away from the normal intent of this short verse blog.
__ This was not my genetic brother, but our sight at the Park Street Station in Boston... so many years ago. A young person that jumped to the aid of an obviously homeless, drunken elderly man, and that elderly deeply thanking the younger for his care.
__ I truly thank you all, for your kind and understanding comments. _m

grapeling said...

stunning, Doug ~

Magyar said...

Thanks M_! _m