ROCKS, AT A CERTAIN LATITUDE
When rings the hour of surrender? When to
toe the final line; spit up the white flag; or madly
dig a mouth that can blurt you out in escape?
You can’t get away without running and
running would alert them.
Hold up, okay?
(You wouldn’t get far anyway. Your breath
packed up and left when the children swam off
like fishes and your bellyfolds sagged slack
with the catch and release; your itching
legs ground down by ceaseless pacing,
stressing through infinities of minutes you barely
recollect apart from those whose bony steps
pressed right through the rampant cellulite
of your life and left
some vicious tracks).
Like a fractious wolf obsessed with its own tail,
her digestion so troubled that she swallow rocks;
or like a hamster derailed and lacking the pre-
requisite frail, Lexan bubble, how does one pivot
and turn to face
Understanding at last that you can’t survive behind
your fort's peeling tar-paper wall and barred
door if your mind’s over the wire; that maybe
surrender’s not suicide after all, but a
relief: not weakness, but
though sensitivity and self-dissection may yet re-
align over time, no longer forcing me to note
their specious cohabitation, what they've left
behind seems facetious, if taken as my omen:
a solitary isolated tealight
bobs afloat in purple dusk; then winks out
in a sniff. All knowledge, instinct, belief, education
and control, like a thousand rocks from a crippled
old wolf’s regurgitation skip, then sink,
ripples fading slowly,
into an ink-black lake.
Decades ago, kerry rawlinson gravitated from sunny Zambian skies to solid Canadian soil. Now returned her muses an unmitigated optimist, she's the winner of Postcards, Poems & Prose's “drawkcaB” Contest; was a finalist in Ascent Aspirations; Mississippi Valley; Malahat Review Open Season and Hawai’i Review Contests; and long-listed for 2015 National Poetry Contest of the UK. Poems, some with artwork, accepted by: Midwest Quarterly; ditchpoetry; 3Elements Review; Main Street Rag; Unshod Quills; War, Literature & the Arts; Codex. amongst others. Photo-artwork publications: Qwerty; WaxPoetry & Art; Adirondack Review; AColorProject, Five on the Fifth; The Peachland View front page, Nov. 14, 2014; Peachland Art Gallery Exhibition. See everything at kerryrawlinson.tumblr.com