I wore daggers on my knuckles
and hate in my hair, and my heart
was dark and full of venom
and teeth that gnashed on rage.
But you, the walker in my dreams
the burning bush in my heart,
you told me once that my heart
was golden and my soul could shine
brighter than any star in your sky.
And I knew then that you had been blessed
with not only a first and a second,
but a third sight as well.
One to see the love in the unloved
and another to catch your reflection
in the eyes of the first,
but the third that could always see
the forest for the trees,
even though you never learned
how to read a compass, and if you
happened to find yourself lost
on the side mountain, you should
only ever climb up to look
for a way back down again.
You, my dearest friend, the light
at the end of so many tunnels,
forgot to leave a light on for yourself.
You, the one who laughed as I cast
stones at wishes and cursed old memories,
you who kept me company in a canopy
of smoke and snuggled me warm
during an unseasonably cool summer.
You who ate brownies while I drank
wine, and laughed at the state
of the world and your unfortunate
life of love. You, my dearest
friend and shiniest light,
you have kept me breathing
when it was hard for you
to breathe on your own.
You always did cheer
for the underdog, perhaps
because you spent years slapping
at your own while it spent
its time barking at your knees
and snapping at the heels
of the memories that kept
telling you you had never been good,
or good enough, even after you
put that old dog down,
you still wrapped it in love
and brought it back home to bury it
in your garden next to the plot where
the fingerlings brought home
by excited kindergarteners
sucked the life from the soil
and the patience from your heart.
But there it rests, underneath
mums and daisies and anything
that blooms a little prettier
than sorrow, and I can’t help
but wonder as I cross oceans
and borders to lay mums
at your feet and daisies
at your head, would you think
we have dressed your new home
in something prettier than sorrow now.
© Nicole Lyons 2019