"First Light (for Shara McCallum)"
(for Shara McCallum)
Dawta, the blood that spilled bright
on blades of sawgrass, a scent like rust
rising in your nostrils, twisted
into your terrible locks. I wish I could
have turned your head away, for you not
to have witnessed the slow slump of the body
on the earth that greeted the thud
of the shell when the soul becomes one
with the light around the tamarinds.
But like thunder on the surf whose rage
shatters sand dollars that crumble
in our hands, you can no longer take refuge
in the mangroves' memory of wholeness,
your flight into an orphaned sun.
© Geoffrey Philp 2011
Shara McCallum will read at the Miami Book Fair International on Saturday, November 19, 2011