The Girl in the Yellow Dress

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Amelia 0036nlpps

The light was penetrating, cutting into his soul, his spirit. He felt nothing though he sensed the light through his dead retinas.

When he was twelve he saw a girl in a yellow dress cross the street in front of a jeepney. In minutes she was gone. On the black road were chunks of red meat, shreds of yellow, dark curly hair on what might be a head, the girl was gone.

For years he dreamt a whole life with that Girl in the Yellow Dress. They grew up, met and married. They had children but what children those were since he didn’t know what children were. He knew dragons better.

When he was hit on the ambush outside Fallujah there was such a penetrating light cutting into his soul, his spirit. When he woke up he was at a base hospital, his head bandaged so he didn’t know for days what he had lost if he had lost anything.

They had two children, girls in little white dresses, courteous to a fault. In fact, they never spoke except when they were sleeping when they wove stories so beautiful hearing them he wept with joy. Mildred and May. Their faces were like the sun. Or maybe, dragons.

He was evacuated to a hospital in Germany where at last they told him. He would not fight another war. War was over for him. The light in that former Nazi hospital was penetrating, cutting into his soul, his spirit.

The girl gradually faded. One day there, then she was gone. He didn’t even notice her leaving.

On the Outside Looking

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Chinatown 4963
On the outside looking
in, our stomachs
cavernous with greed,
we despair
of finding the feasting
others, all those others, seem
to have. We
live among the garbage
of our dark, corpulent night, missing
the music, and the laughter,
and the gladness,
not seeing, not hearing,
missing what we have,
ourselves.

 

Spring at Last

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Robert Parks Memorial Church 4245s

There was a man tonight
at Delaware and State,
setting up his camera
on a tripod.

Cars drove by, people many
arm in arm walked by,
some stopped to say,
“Nice evening, eh?”
“Yes,” the man would say,
stopping what he was doing,
“we’ve got spring at last,
don’t we?”

Someone stepped out of
the shadow, asked,
"Taking the picture just
for yourself?” His breath was
fruity with drink, his walk
unsteady, but he was nice.

“I was married in that church,”
the man replied, “thirty years ago 
today.” The younger man
stumbled, found his footing.
“I turned twenty-five today."
The man pushed the shutter
on his camera. “You’re
young enough to be
my son,” he said kindly,
and turned away.

							

Feeding the Thousands

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Holy Sepulcher Red 8560s

What is faith that it
feeds the thousands, with
strength infuses us
and solace in the dark
nights of the soul,
that rises
when we sink,
finds us when we lose
ourselves, lights
the way when the going
is roughest, and
in the core of
our hearts kindles
hope, sometimes, even
love and
joy?

The Gift

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Cactus Flower 3124s

Not often
but when it comes,
words are suddenly freighted
with omen and
forethought,
nature speaks, rocks
and valleys,
the very flowers
tender on the bough
are all agog with mystery,
with palpitating joy,
and this life-shorn heart
beats, beats again
with life’s parturient fire,
the gift of ancient gods,
our immortal
spirit.
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