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Peter Cooper

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Ilezia
by Peter Cooper

Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Peter Cooper
•  Ring Finger
•  The Sister of Awk
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•  Recycling
•  Death is not a mountain
           >> View all 28


I know this sadness
is not simple
or easy to bear

But within you
(of all women)
I finally understand
the wearing of black
for widowhood

for it represents
the trading of light
throughout your life
on behalf of others

First, the light
of childhood
given away too young
to the perils of war

How much heartshine
did you offer to the dirt
those four hours
you lay in the trench
protecting your baby brother
with your very body
while bombs and bullets
exploded all around?

How many bright rays
of young self
did your fear use
to blind the eyes
of Nazi soldiers
while rescuing the
singer sewing machine
(necessary family heirloom)
from their occupying grasp?

How much incandescence
did you offer
your new husband
perhaps knowing
(even from the beginning)
that little of it
would be returned?

And how bright became
each day of birth
as you spent yourself
again and again
to safely bring your
children into the world
making yourself a magnet
for pain
so it would not
find them?

I know how far
and how often
you walked
to deliver food and money
or handmade clothes
to the school
so far away
you often slept
alongside the road

How many fingers
did you wound
preparing meals
boiling water
or pricking with needles
when sewing late at night?

You think sometimes
these children
grandchildren
great grandchildren
don't see you anymore
(surely not the girl of light
you wrap in heavy dark cloth)

But that magnet you became
to absorb pain
now brings their love
effortless attracted
along with their laughter
(proof of your light within them)

I know the black dress
is a wedding veil
inside out

I know your round face
is a full moon
to hide the beautiful
girl of yesterday
in the night of old age

And every aching step
you take now
is a sharp reminder
that you loved so much
you would have walked
on your heart
to deliver precious cargo

God still sees
the girlish sister
the bride
the young mother

and he will kneel
and wash each foot
before your final journey

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Reviewed by Karen Palumbo 12/30/2008
Beautifully and endearingly expressed....

Be always safe,
Karen
Reviewed by Carolyn Red Bear (The Bear Paw) 12/30/2008
Hi Peter,

This is a powerful write, full of knowing and compassion. Thank you for sharing.

In Spirit,
Bear



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