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New poem: For Right Now

For Right Now

I have traversed these sharp, stony paths
for an eternity,
barefoot.
My soles are weathered, hardened,
against the bite of the stones
that now rip your soft feet to shreds.

As an ancient traveller,
permit me to halt your adamant stride,
your grim resolution.
Allow me to sit you down
at the side of the road
and tend to your bleeding feet.

Let me remove the leaden weight
of your backpack from your abraded shoulders
and cup your chin to lift up your heavy head
and meet your scared eyes
with understanding and tenderness.

Let me persuade you to camp here for the night.

My touch is light
and my practised hands are steady;
allow them to remove your brain, for now,
to place it on my pillow
to rest
so you can finally catch a breath.

Permit me to extract your heart
and swaddle it in a thick blanket
until it stops shaking.

I cannot change the way that lies ahead of you
but,
right now,
let me soothe your soul
and let it drink from my flask
to bring it succour.

I cannot prevent any horrors you may face
or the shattering grief they might bring
but,
right now,
I can stroke your forehead
and hold your hand
until you fall asleep.

I sing softly while you slumber,
I sing directly into the ears
of the one who has done,
for all these years I’ve journeyed,
the same for me
as I have just done for you.
I stare fiercely into his presence as I sing my melody,
my frequent refrain.

Protect this one,
this dear one.
Go before them
to make the way smooth
and safe.
Surround them
with your protection:
above them, below them,
in front of them, behind them,
on every side,
so that no harm may come to them
in any form.

But if not,
if bloody not,
then at least hold them close
in a way they can recognise.

If sorrow and agony must come
and submerge them,
help them somehow,
somehow, somehow.
Deep in their darkness
and pain too much to bear,
find a way
to reach in.
Cradle them in your arms
while they scream and sob.
Fight for them,
find a way to bring light back to them.
Eventually overpower the all-consuming anguish and anger
with love and goodness.

Let your heart overlap theirs,
beating together in the same place,
so close that they can feel
what you are feeling,
that their pain is your pain,
that your indescribable love is their love.
Melt each other.
Take care of each other.

But,
right now,
your brow is unfurrowed,
at peace in your sleep,
and I sing all night.

 

© J.K.Rowbory 2020 – All Rights Reserved

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If you like this poem, you might like other poems of mine, which you can read in my poetry book ‘Rainbows in my eyes’ (published by Longman).
You may also like to read my more recent online collection of poems.

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