Poem and Art by K. Rose Quayle
From the book – This Business of Becoming Mad
Golden then, that afternoon, and brindled was the sky
fairytales still had an end,
and trains yet passed me by.
The news struck me between the eyes,
a cold, crushing crash within.
And dark the clouds did rust away,
the stars’ shine snuffed to spoil.
The note you left behind,
when the wolf came to the door,
composed so thoughtfully like you,
asked for nothing more.
This life just could not hold you,
your soul, could not contain.
Your passions blazed too bright to own,
The curse of our kind come to claim.
The paper weaves an awkward tale:
an end, an unknown, a sudden departure.
As if the train had pulled out too early
without signs it meant to go.
We speak your tale, but eyes turn away to easier despair.
The whispers dance over the floor in vapors:
But I am cursed to know.
For there is no distance of mystery,
no wall of questions behind to hide.
The wolf is always at my door,
the howling, in my blood.
The glint of its eyes shines through the cracks;
its jaws, ready to dash my bones.
Now the mightiest of us has fallen,
what chance for the rest does yet lie?
We’re a sorry caste of mourners, an inherited tribe of kin.
We’ve cobbled together this family,
we dance together through this ceremony of terms.
Orphaned by blood,
our DNA threads thick with grief.
A regalia of rue
that you clothed us in most tenderly,
when you accompanied that hound.
I do not ask your reasons,
but only how you left.
Why did it come to you that day?
Did it drag you with its claws?
And did you chase its tail and trace its steps?
Or in the last vestiges of your mourning, did you
see through its eyes over the edge of life
that bleeds into forever?
I must make myself remember
you are gone, you dwell not here;
and tie myself to the bed, the chair,
that I should not follow you there.
For I hear the howling call me,
I hear the baying, clear
I must cull away this sentiment,
I must snuff away this flame.
And take my curse with grace;
that curse to stay and live.