Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I posted Stage I: Air Loss on my 3-Day site, but I thought I would also share Stage II: Things Fly Away with you.

Poems written by Priscilla

Stage I: Air Loss

It took three days to lose the hair that brushed my waist, but it
wasn't vanity that made me cry.
That night, bare bald and holding the fallen strands of silver and
gold to my face,
I understand how my hair entwined me with the world.

My hair charmed the air and the air responded. It caressed, tumbled,
jumbled, twisted and sighed and left me night reminders of its origins
and passages -- and mine:

Salt and cedar spiked Mediterranean breezes;
Pungent eucalyptus carried by Pacific gusts;
Sweet aroma of Virginia peonies;
Sage-brushed winds of the Rocky Mountains.

Sun that backlit unruly tangles into spun gold, making me conspicuous
among twittering clusters of raven-haired Lebanese schoolgirls.

Hair blown back and sun bleached as a used race pennant on salty tacks
across Sydney Harbor.

Winter mornings in Vermont, shower-wet strands frozen to rigid cords
in the dash from college dorm to dining room.

The resinous odor of Yellowstone's pines that infused any tendrils not
kept under hat.

Stage II: Things Fly Away

I devour the poisons that slay cells indiscriminately;
I am the rerun, the one they say a prayer for.

Already some things have their own trajectory out of my life.
Home: sold.
Job: ended.
Habits: abandoned.

More losses come.

Once, when I could still charm the air,
it marked its passage in my hair.

These days, I dream of weaving a magic net with strands
Strong enough to hold what I cherish most.
Then realize that it is I who must become the net
Because what I want cannot be captured, bought or kept.

Through love, despite loss, I persist
in seining for the sustaining principles that can
guide me as I inhabit my shape-shifted world.