a portrait of someone close (a tonal drawing written in poetic form)

a portrait of someone close

all these years
you’ve been covering yourself
with wide baby smiles
and teasing brown eyes
and those other sweet things
you always want to serve
toying and whispering softly
in a southern drawl y’alllllll

on tiny short steps hurrying along
swaddling yourself
in the numbing balm of those
who come to lean on you
and spilling over
into tender little dreams
whose painful toll
you never want to know

carefully abandoning those
with whom you’ve bathed and oiled
in the infant wisdom of Solomon nights
and those whose claims are closer still
there alone
carelessly bruising me
as you yearn in this silent swoon

Copyright ©  1992 Asili Ya Nadhiri

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