Sunday, April 17, 2011

Promise the Third (National Poetry Month: Day 17)

Beneath bleached clouds that listless drift
dry as the earth and near as stiff,
three years she's lived upon this cliff
   the color of bones.
The girl no longer winces when
the dragon's scales brush on her skin.
Its breath blows through her hair so thin;
   gives never a moan.
She hardly notices the stench
in which she and her world are drenched
and which for months had made her retch
   and kick the white stones.
A thousand times she slowly crept
away while the foul dragon slept;
it caught her even when she leapt,
   from precipice thrown.  
She does not dream; dreams are too weak.
Nor does she hope; hope, too, is bleak.
But dreamless, hopeless, yet she speaks
   in darkness, alone.
Someday, someday I will be clean.
Somehow, somehow I will be free.
Sometime, sometime I will not be so very hungry.
   she softly intones.

Whatever occurs,
these words,
they are hers.
   The words are her own
lost promises of princesses...

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