BTT #34: On the Corner of Catshole Lane

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This is posted in response to Amaya’s prompt at dVerse .  We are tasked to write a poem about our soul mate, a poem that is personal and will be understood most completely only by the intended audience.  Here is the link to Amaya’s prompt:  https://dversepoets.com/2018/06/05/poetics-getting-personal/   Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I started this poem in response to Sara’s dVerse prompt last week about street names, but I didn’t finish it in time, and it serendipitously fits Amaya’s prompt too.  Here is the link to Sara’s prompt:  https://dversepoets.com/2018/05/29/tuesday-poetics-street-names/     (Picture credit: Latoro Free Wallpapers).

 

On the Corner of Catshole Lane

Part One:  Standing in the dampened grayness of the day, her umbrella of flattened yellow does little to impede the surrounding breaths of misted rain.  While waiting for the light to change, a question uncoils about the strangeness of the street name and ancient purpose of this place.  Looking down at the small picture of her love, a spell moves her feet as numbers beneath a red fluorescent hand descend in cadence from twenty-five to nothing and a slow murmur diverts her behind a small alley where whitened fish bones stare from empty sockets. She feels hunters follow as the path narrows into lost light gathered into a sinking stream bending in and over itself until she is no longer swallowed by the cascading rain, but rides atop a soft press of fur and stillness of rhythmic purrings and silver green eyes searching now in unnumbered darkness.  The bargain swells unbidden to her throat as she gives her body over to the pride descending to scratch and dig and claw; she somehow neither fights nor cries focusing all her pain on clutching the fading picture in her hand, the flesh stripping away piecemeal with each needling morsel, slowly her new form emerges, sleek and indolent she purrs and rubs against the shoulders of her pride, exacting now nothing but her leave, then gliding swiftly along the lines and lacework of the fence-tops to the silent windows of her love, she mews and cries and shrieks against the pane. A whisper breathes that if her love should only just bring her strange new body a daily offering of cream, then her love would be healed and live again each new morning to greet the endless passing of the days.
 ·
Tired eyes looking out,
Lonely wauls call the moonlight.
Fingers swirl the cream.
 ·
Part Two: A shrill horn rudely blasts and passes, shaking her from the waking of her dream.  A normal-looking sedan the ordinary color of mere eggshells speeds and splashes the puddle over which her foot suspends, not yet having left the corner.  The crosswalk count blinks just twenty as the car wafts a trail of droplets in its stream mingling with the tears landing softly on the picture in her hand.  There is no ancient magic or coven of familiars here, only the slow remembrance that for so long she had simply wanted to be carried away into the arms of an honorable death, to free her love from the eddies of agonal breathings swirling beneath her falsely vibrant shell.  Then just a little while past, this living death had left her, evicting the metal casings from her mind as life lifted her by the hand to open formerly fastened doorways.  With a stroke of irony, it was just then that her love found the lumps, the convex extrusions of autologous parasitism fingering down into the flesh demanding her love’s life for its own, as if the prayers of months and days and years had been received only to be cruelly triangulated to miss the intended mark by just those few inches that lay between them in the bed.  Now there is nothing, nothing, nothing she can do for her love but to fight and lift and steady with brave face as her love endures the prodding tests and searches of her pride.  The lights change and she drops her foot softly toward her home, hoping to spend any remaining intertwining in quiet understanding.  She spends more than a dram of wonder on the question, how in the hold of this new terror she feels so little darkness, and who might have gifted her these wings of light and clarity that now speed her to her love’s encircling arms and passage of the days.
 ·
Padded footfalls step
Silently behind her now
A gray cat follows.
·
Lona Gynt, June 2018
·
Copyright, All Rights Reserved for text Lona Gynt, June 2018.
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Dedicated to my wife:  proud warrior and protector of her ken  We will beat this cancer beast and God willing be blessed with many decades of grandchildren and intertwinings of quiet understanding.  I would trade my life for yours my love, as you through all these years in ways small and large and secret, have traded yours for mine. (Picture Credit: Ross Magrath, pinterest, labeled for non-commercial use.)

14 thoughts on “BTT #34: On the Corner of Catshole Lane

      1. So many of us. I suspect we are over-represented in the writing community because writing is such a great way of understanding our lives and experiences. Maybe we should form a creative writing survivor group!!!

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  1. I’m terribly sorry to hear of this trial for you and your wife. The part about the prayers being answered to be cruelly triangulated to miss the intention by a sliver hit me hard. I can only speak spiritually, but I don’t know if being pursued by the Gray ever leaves until we die and are Home. You adroitly demonstrate through your imagery that slow chase and the fear and love that make it work. But I know imagery doesn’t matter when it’s your real life and you are once again threatened with what is so undesired. Thank you for this piece and I pray that God holds your family through this.

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    1. So when a poet is faced with such tender comments does she unlock all the secrets? I don’t know the protocol, I fear that revealing too much of a context of a poem may detract from any universality that might cling to it, but I somehow can’t hold back from you. First of all, thank you for your prayers, they lift and matter. Second, thank you for finding the broken heart of my piece, the triangulation, the years I spent quietly praying that God would take me – because of being a transgender person that fit no part of my world except the darkest closet , I foolishly and sincerely wished I would be gone rather than subject my family to the inevitable explosions of either suicide or transition that seemed to loom, only to now face a deadly illness in my wife just at the time we may have discovered a path forward in joyful life. Third thanks for your recognition that it is the love, the gifts we are prepared to clumsily give each other that make life work. Fourth, imagery does help, life is imagery. The Gray does not pursue so much as follow, in the poem I hardly notice the Gray, it is a soft uncertainty. Is it real, a vestige of the dream, or both? It is not known whether to be foe, random visitor, or dearest friend, but there is always a gift offered inherently in the Gray, the chance to linger in our brush borders with all deliberations and dogma and common denominators subsumed to the New Refrain – Love, the answer to all our riddles. That is what brings us home. When Sara gave the street names prompt, I really thought with stone-cold physiciany certainty that my wife was going to die young. I wanted to trade with her. I actually had the daydream while musing on “Catshole Lane” while crossing the street. When I reached the other side I was in tears. A short eternal two weeks later it really looks like we can beat this, we have been so blessed for what looks a long season until God is ready to give us that final dose of entropy and we are safely dead heading home to His arms. Whew, I am a windbag, but maybe not a verbose as Whitman by some dVersers standards.. I love Whitman btw, serves me right I guess. Again, thanks to both you and Sara for the prompt… and especially for the prayers. Lona 💜.

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