Infirmary…

here she finds me
here in this abandoned wing
of my soul
sanitarium tuberculosis ward
red black stains upon the floor
whisping sheets of gauze flutter
in an unfeelable breeze
I have retrieved it again
and clutch it against my chest
as if I could put it back
a tight ball
rolled and crushed
like aluminum foil
soaked in crimson
my hands run sticky with the juice of life
as my madman tongue
waggles to my reflection
against the dirty window

She finds me
like she always does
and I can feel the gravity of her
behind me
I can feel the weight of her
pressing down on these grey oaken floorboards
the foil ball in my hands
quivers with pain
as I turn to look at her
Achingly beautiful
not the sunshine and sky hues of mythic angels
no
she is ever dark haired
and sullen eyed
a common sparrow amid the thorny bushes of my life
yet at her approach my feet find purchase
and it is here that I make my shameful confession…
…sometimes I want to run from her

She holds out her hand
I place the ball into the stone altar of her palm
and brace myself for the pain
as she sets to work
gently pulling and straightening
there is pain
but I focus on her face
and I hear a voice inside me say

Oh kind maid
sweet Goddess of my soul
I deserve you not
for how oft have I returned to you
this very same ball
and how many times
have you smoothed and straightened
and though my spine twitches
with each and every ministration
the terror I fear never comes to pass
never have your fingers ripped or torn
no matter the ichor
which attempts to trap your beautiful fingers
within its grappling lock
You should do away with me
You should leave this place
and never let these soiled boards
touch your precious feet again
This place is not for you
You are the better part of us
Daughter of the Ebon Flame
You could carry so much more than that tangled mass
beyond the walls of this ruin

Yet I know she will not leave
though I have awakened countless days of my life
terror stricken that the bond between us is broken
that I will one day call for her
and she will not come to find me
it brings tears to my eyes to think of her gone
and how much more empty this place would be
without the soothing calm of her grace
without the relieving balm of her face
to not see her shadow from under my door
to know what it means to be truly poor
abandoned to the dark and find solace, none
in the whispered promise of the rising sun

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About Eric

Writer/Plumber/Poet/Father/Gentleman/Romantic
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30 Responses to Infirmary…

  1. Purpleanais says:

    And you were worried the muse had deserted you?? See?? THIS is what I told you earlier today: the muse will never ever leave you and this epic piece of writing proves it. She might leave for a while and she might tease you but she will always be back.
    Fan- fucking-tastic!

  2. House of Heart says:

    Beyond extraordinary Eric. Remarkable and beautiful writing !

  3. Rita says:

    Lil’ Brother this is exquisite as usual. I love your gift. I cherish it.

  4. trE says:

    Eric, I think you showcased an incredible skill regarding use of vivid imagery here:

    “as if I could put it back
    a tight ball
    rolled and crushed
    like aluminum foil
    soaked in crimson
    my hands run sticky with the juice of life
    as my madman tongue
    waggles to my reflection
    against the dirty window

    She finds me
    like she always does
    and I can feel the gravity of her
    behind me
    I can feel the weight of her
    pressing down on these grey oaken floorboards
    the foil ball in my hands
    quivers with pain”

    And, the wordplay is extremely suitable. Very nice work.

  5. VictoryInTrouble says:

    So amazing! You have so much talent. 😘

  6. Emily says:

    So stunning, Eric. A slight departure for you, but still shines with your characteristic love and light, even in the darkness.

  7. BoldBeat&NipLESS says:

    Love how you can make something so dark so enticing!!! Literally had to curl up and read it a second and third time. Thank you!

  8. Angela says:

    Wow, this is enthralling, with such deeply vivid emotions and imagery. Lovely!

  9. Just gorgeous and heartbreaking and raw.

  10. Reblogged this on Secret First Draft: Member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and commented:
    Eric Syrdal/My Sword and Shield….

  11. Oh my gosh, the imagery.
    Breath taking.

  12. Gives consumption the same allure as Wuthering heights did!

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