Thursday, October 9, 2008
The Fountain of Youth, A Tale of Terror - Writer's Workshop
This afternoon, I began to write & this is what came out of me. I used the 3rd prompt - weave a poem using these 3 lines, "I tie the ribbon in a foolish way", "the delicious fragility of this travesty", "where we still laugh and wish".
Years slip away from us.
We allow the mundane to rule
our everyday lives and
it can leave us feeling empty
when the end is near.
Strolling the woods, we arrive at the well.
Everyone knows of it.
Sumptuous gardens with flower species
in colors never seen in every day life,
adorning foliage in every shade of green.
Trees that speak of age but
hold an air of Spring newness.
Benches surround the well in a clearing.
A familiar place
where we still laugh and wish.
This day is different.
The well speaks its wisdom
an echo of a whispery voice,
"Drink...time will return to you."
We hear it, we are cautious.
We look at each other and
see our years etched in venerable skin.
We know there's little left for us here.
The well beckons again.
Our minds hear more clearly this time,
louder we are sure.
The bucket hangs like a hog on a spit,
fully roasted and welcoming consumption.
The ancient pottery kettle sways on our approach.
We feel its anticipation.
It wants to swill from the pool of life
just for us.
We both place a hand on the rickety crank
our fingers interlace.
Anxious, giddy laughter escapes in a heavy breath
and we watch the bucket lower into the dark well.
Memories I thought were gone forever
rush into my mind.
We both struggle to keep hold of the handle.
Everything we've ever known comes flooding back.
And it hurts - it's agonizing,
pure joy, excruciating, and
all encompassing happiness.
The splash brings us back.
It's loud and
droplets rise then fall
sweetly on our faces.
The vessel is filling
becoming a weight unlike any other
we've carried in our lives.
We turn the heavy bail with two hands,
now, for both of us.
We use all we have inside.
Eventually, the pail with a crystal liquid
sloshes over the side of the well.
"Give in return for a drink."
Speaks the well.
"A trinket, sentimental in value."
I instantly know and
I tie the ribbon in a foolish way
around the rope that carries
the mysterious, reflective water.
He places his chain, dog-tags in tact,
around the handle.
It was all we had.
We look in the water.
Faces we know swim with laughter
Scenes from our lives are playing out
in the reflective surface.
Our eyes sparkle.
Still anxious, we cup our hands
and fill them with those scenes.
They continue to play.
Our mouths feel full of cotton and
we know there is no turning back.
I know, so I drink first.
Refreshing and cold,
quenching a thirst I didn't know existed.
It's one I can't describe.
I feel everything I have ever known.
As I swallow, I feel whiskey on fire.
It coats my throat and comes
to a rest warmly in my stomach.
I open my eyes.
He's watching with intense excitement.
His eyes widen with awe and
his smile radiates his heart.
I can't see myself but
I feel young again.
My hands are again smooth,
youth washed into them
from a single drink.
He knows and he drinks.
I can see my experience
as it progresses in him.
The transformation is not instant,
but stunning when he opens his eyes.
We are young...again.
In that moment, we promise.
Promise to live like never before.
We will share all we never did.
I take his face in my hands an
plant a forever kiss on his lips.
As I open my eyes and pull away,
part of his lip is stuck to my own.
Horror filled me.
My hands wouldn't pull away
from his face without pulling
his face with them.
He was falling apart in them!
He reached to touch me and
I jumped back, repulsed by his
I could see the line of bone
that forms his jaw.
He was soundless
but screaming, it was in his eyes.
His mouth agape,
a breath escaped, with that breath
his teeth fell to the ground.
I stood and frantically looked at my arms,
hands, legs, anything I could see.
This wasn't happening to me.
Why wasn't this happening to me?
"Sentimental value, not anger & inability to forgive."
I heard it. Speaking again.
I ran to it & screamed into the depths.
Behind me, he continued his disintegration.
Agony eclipsed his face.
He wasn't angry with me,
he wasn't unforgiving.
He lived his life to give!
These thoughts filled my head.
"We must be able to forgive ourselves."
I look back and realize
the delicious fragility of this travesty.
I have another chance and I will not waste it.
*please pardon the hurried finish - CSI was on & I was watching & writing. I am slapping my hand as we speak.
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