laid on wooden table planks
in decades past when time had yet
to unlock its loving eyes.
I wear the marks of every quill,
and pen, and hand that made its smudge
while pressing meaning on my form.
The young planks that once held me
grew dry then moved apart
turning, firming, deep with living
leaving splinters in the edges
tearing at the backing,
pulling, pushing, waiting,
wearing ages through with feeling
‘til they made such tiny holes
that proved that pages feel no pain.
The dark ink that once told me
grew gray to softer hues
fading, drawing, kind with living
sweet melancholy in the telling
as if a single butterfly,
rising, dancing, falling
sleeping in a winter solstice
‘til night covered it with snow
that meant the fragile have no fear.
I bear the thoughts of every person,
and place, and thing that has breathed
while taking meaning from my soul.
I am the manuscript once dreamed of
laid before you, in progress and unsigned
as time prepares to lock its loving eyes again.
—me strauss Letting me be