It was two years from the date that his second daughter was born. Christened, Madeline Jane, she’d shuddered, chest heaving through her gown, as the priest muttered blessings and sprinkled holy water upon the crown of her smooth, pinkish head.

Earlier this morning, the small family had celebrated her second birthday with a simple cake. They’d laughed as the child smeared vanilla frosting across her lips, watched as her window on the world opened a teensy bit wider.

There were no guests or relatives in attendance. Their families weren’t the close-knit types and the road between his mother and Jacquie had grown longer. It began in  a hospital  nursery, three years earlier, with the birth of Annie. It was once more repeated as his mother inadvertently cast a spell upon the forehead of Madeline Jane.

“That woman. Once again, she has the nerve to tell me, ‘had you a boy, I wouldn’t have come to the hospital for a look-see,’ ” Jacquie fumed. “Bolt the door. I hope she never comes back.”

Damask

She wasn’t just any rose,
She was the whole damn garden
Yet, you couldn’t see past her thorns.

Patient, she waited for you to notice
Her love- abundant.
In sunshine, she bloomed
In rain, she folded herself

Her scent drove you mad
Crushed, she oozed hot-sweet pleasure
Green tea and lemons,
A spoonful of honey.

Her touch, intoxicating
Soft as velvet, artful
You swore you’d found heaven
Every beat of your heart pulsed for her

And now you sit, your mind like a moth flickering round a flame
Trying to re-capture the scent of your rose, the feel, her look
Yet, you were the one who cut her down

She’s gone
Only to blossom in memory.

 

~damask

Hearts

Cut my heart

It bleeds stronger

Dripping rubies to cement

 

Play my heart

It beats dulcet harmonies

Infusing rust and gold

 

Wound my heart

I take a stand

Your silent storm no more

 

Didn’t you know?

 

My heart is fierce

Ancestral, brave and true

Inked by fire’s light: to blood