Prison

 

TS told me in my favorite poem, to communicate with Mars,

And to report the behavior of the sea monster;

You know I can converse with spirits,

Because, I knew how to tame the river

Even after decades in our lonely single rooms,

We’ll always be young together

Strolling along the free side of the wall

Here among the asphalt gardens and

Floral acrid scents of factory metal from the other side:

Here, I’m able to explore my womb,

Or tomb, and fiddle and dissect it

Because I love this moment out of time and

Because, you’ve shown me what it means

To think about being free–

Before then I was frightened

And stared only at those three days:

Sometimes, tomorrow or today,

Always yesterday, but finally,

I was distracted by a waterfall,

Though it was only a shower

Or the sunlight I pretended to see in the shafts,

The music I heard deeply, if not at all

While you prayed;

We did in this lifetime and the next

Once they were the same;

Now, I’ll tell you what’s changed.

If time’s willing to stand still

Like the man poised over there

With a club in his starched shirt

We can stare back at him,

While waiting to be conquered and reconciled

And then, I’ll try to explain

How we are undefeated.

 

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(Ref: Eliot, TS. “The Dry Salvages.” In Major Poets: English And American, edited by Charles M. Coffin. NY:  Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc, 1954: 512-513)

 

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