Keeping the Dawn

by Shaunna Harper

My mind's eye sweats a tear.
Solitary, it runs
to the mouth, as though dying
for a taste of its own
bitter fluid. The emotional effort
is a waste.

We watch like two friends
as the hand scrawls its script,
full stop bringing the final act to an
The people that know me best
will skip bold statements and find
meaning in the rest.
I love you,
in its animal form: I hate you.
I'm sorry, like a tight-lipped,
plastic smile.
I know this end will justify
the means as worthwhile.

Beyond the window
the world winds around,
until the earth is the sky
and the moon sits on the ground;
it just keeps ticking over like a
patient, purring engine,
waiting for its driver to step on the gas.
There's nothing left to your left,
and there's nothing right on your right.

Better just keep going forward, then.

My hands fold words into a square;
not today, maybe not even this year.
In an instant my life will be there,
then gone, like shadows shriveling at dusk.

Those who knew me will read between lines;
and the words will make them all blind.

I trace the letters' curves like raised red skin,
savouring the moment as it
welcomes me in, and breathe out
hazy frustration. My mind's eye
watches me fall asleep,
to another day, another dawn,
I don't want to keep.

Shaunna Harper's picture

Shaunna Harper lives and works in the UK, and is an avid writer of both prose and poetry. She has had poetry, short stories and a novel, Homelands, published.

Last updated December 15, 2014