Startled Shoes [sonnet]
Where is the open heart I vainly seek
who will not flee from love in startled shoes;
who, when kissed, will show her soft undercheek,
for whom defensiveness is not a ruse?
Where is the forthright face, unspoilt, wide-eyed
whose stratagem is only beauty, peace
and truth — whose countenance cries humbled pride,
whose mystery unfolds without a crease.
I gaze across the chasm of this world,
this desert place where hope is shadows’ friend;
to bow before her ghost I condescend,
while endless question-marks around me swirl.
If it should be that all my days are spent,
I, by my quest, will be in pieces rent.
[Glossary of words for those with English as a second language:
Vainly seek = look for without success; Ruse = a crafty plan; Stratagem = strategy;
Countenance = face; Condescend = to humbly act; Spent = used up, finished; Rent = torn apart]
© 2011, Alan Morrison