My Wounds

after Miguel Hernandez 

“The personalities of so many of us are at war within, as a consequence of trying to make sense of childhood, adolescence, adulthood even while we’re in the midst of these experiences. You’d think that such endless internal combat would satisfy whatever primal urges we retain to do battle externally with people around us…”

For the sin of fear
the wound of loneliness

I loved the highway too much
I made neither asphalt, bridges, nor the truck I drove
But the night road said: though you lose the fields
and the light
I will carry you

For the sin of my fear

I loved the fuzzed gold of October larch
on the mountain
the first glaze of green
on birch sticks in April
Mostly, I loved the wind
in empty air
– a susurration chorusing
from the guitars of the leaves
from the throats of the river, the lodgepole pines

For my sin
my wound of love

I was continually afraid
Behind the beach in the dense cedars
fresh mounds of grave
Her voice in the kitchen cutting herself from me
My voice choking into silence
whole lives for myself
for others

In a valley I loved and feared
I knelt in earth to place a row of radish seed
tomato seedlings
I pulled irrigation hoses across pastures
to release for hours
the water of loneliness

Who walked with me? Fear
Who sang to me? Wind
Who ran with me? Road

There was no wound like my wounds
And they shone

~ Tom Wayman

Bio: Dirty Snow is Tom Wayman’s eighteenth collection of poems. He has edited a number of anthologies, including The Dominion of Love (2001). His published fiction includes two books of short stories and the novel Woodstock Rising (2009).

To read more of Tom’s poems click here

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