Lick and a Promise

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i know well my mind
having been so resigned
to the fact it was no longer mine
that a piece of it actually died
back in twenty thirteen when my life appeared fractured
a chapter to leave well behind

i fell back as i counted my losses
little left but a lick and a promise
that the quick sand would take me
forsake me for waking the danger of black ice when standing upon it

shock waves all embracing
each pain was tectonic
every ungainly persuasion made chronic
never been one to parade histrionics
more tasteful it seemed to paint scene monochromic
awaiting with patience of saint for relief
held onto blind faith by the skin of my teeth

flames all about me
yet minimized heat
my heart was ablaze
in the gaze of defeat
this curse of mine versed upon blessings deferred
spoken word well rehearsed in mystique
no more petty a clique
for a freak so unique
that for each plummet farther from summit i peaked

quite clearly stationed on uneven ground
i breathed in
ill prepared to breathe out
commencing to bleed
the bleached earth beneath my feet
then commenced its unexpected late flourish
with the quill now refilled and a fistful of courage
no longer felt nearly so hurried

could not have been more so timely
better placed to let distant lights guide me
remind me of who had been left way behind me
the child with the wide eyes and brave to leap blindly
had every intent to look lively
as i ventured politely through chapter and verse
began then to question my lessening worth
and no longer proceeded so shyly

swiftly discounting my losses
with a lick and an infinite promise
that kind hands would save me
and congratulate me for breaking the black ice when standing upon it

Richard Charles Stevens

Keeper of The Crimson Quill

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