Friday, 22 May 2009

Ugly 15

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.
D. Thomas

The Morning of the funeral.

I had argued with my grandparent to be able to go. They finally gave in, they did not know why it was so important for me to say good be to a complete stranger. Especially one "not of our race".

For all they and I knew I could have been also part of "not of our race." They always assumed my mother would not have never laid with anyone not white, I knew better. Race, colour, religion are so important here, such exclusive clubs and members can be born into, a club that shuns you if you leave or take up with members of other clubs.

I reject this reality that they saw as a immovable truth of the world. They found me naive for not holding on tight to it. They put me down for trying to show them the lines of that reality are so blurred it can make you blind. The see it so clearly, they see so clearly in it, they can not see anything beyond it's small island.

I was born into the world. On to the planet Earth. My feat firmly plant on it, it allows me to run. I look up, the sun warms my skin and lets me see far, so far , I can see all these islands and all these bigger places. How could I ever believe this reality was the only one when I can see others. I can just not take off their blinders, lift their fog, or any other euphoniums to make them see the world outside their farm, their town, their county or even their state.

So the morning of the funeral. I am in my dress, made by Love Faith and Hope. The butterflies fly free.

My Grandmother come in with my mother and sister and brother."Child!, Where on earth did you get that?! Did you steal it?"

"Auntie, you look pretty." my little sister says.

My mother looks at her shocked, she thought my grandmother had made it for me.


Let's back up.

A day before this. I forgot a few details...

I was siting sad at the breakfast table. Barely touching my bacon and eggs. I had no where I wanted to go. I was just going to mope around the house. World is raining. Crying with my soul.

"Child, eat your food. Don't waste what the good lord provided you." grandfather said over his paper.

"I'm not hungry." I say back.

Grandfather looked angry, slammed down his paper. He was about to say something to me when their was a knock on the door. We all looked at the door. Grandmother got up and went to the door and opened it.

She laughed and cried, "Oh my sweet Jesus, you've come home!"

In walks my mother with two small children a boy and a girl. The boy about 7 and the girl about 5. Behind them comes a man a a big lapel brown suit.

"Look father, look who came how with the children!"

Grandfather got a happy expression on his face and went over to hug my mother and picked up the children.

They said all sorts of loving grandparent things to the children. Why did they not act this way with me? Those children had no butterfly on their face. they looked perfect. My mother and the man had matching gold rings. I guess they know who their father is.

Some of my aunts and uncle came over to great them. Same thing, lots of love. Lots of happiness. I notice the man in the big lapel suit look at me. He had a hard time looking away. It is as if he has no idea what to think of me. He is not repelled. He does have a look of distance. As if I was some deep dark secret that just came to the light and he is trying his best how to get the secret back into the back of the closet.

"Children come meet your Auntie Danny" he said and he brings the children over.

"Auntie? I am..."

My mother and Grandmother said together "Yes!, Dear, you are their aunt, remember?!" they looked at me with daggers.

So they will lie to these children. Am I that ugly, that shameful I should never be known as their sister, that I am not allowed to have a brother and sister. I am not allowed that closeness of siblings.

I tried to hide my tears welling in my eyes, I pushed the children aside and shoulder pushed the man out of my way. I turned to look at him in a way that said ' if you say anything I will knock you down and tell them the truth'. He dared not push his luck. I ran up to my room to cry properly.

I climbed out of my window, down the wall of the house to the wet ground. I ran in the rain, it hides tears so well. I ran over creeks, over hills, through fields to the old tree I first found the guitar, I could see the small cabin, Moses' cabin and stop and fell tot he ground. I realized he's not there anymore. I curled up under that tree, cried and cried, the rain being shielded from me. I fell asleep.

In my dream I went into the cabin. Moses is there we play chess. He wife, Precious , makes us lemon aide. She cuts cucumbers she picked in her garden and tomatoes. She sprinkles a little salt on and serves them to us.

I go to reach for one and she tells me I can not eat or drink here, but it would be rude for her not to offer.

I asked why.

"Moses says in his deep voice "Because if you eat food or drink in the land of the dead, child, you will not wake. And you have a lot of living yet." He smiles.

"Now little one, I know your heart id broken right now." Precious said. "Your mother was the same way when she would come visit us. That was long before my passing. She was there for my funeral, she sang at my funeral. It was shortly after that she left this place."

"So she came here too, did you teach her chess and the blues, too, just like me?" I looked at Moses.

"Yes, baby girl. She was good , too. Not like you. Never like you. I have never known anyone like you, child. Why do you think she is back here? Faith called her, told her what happened. Let her know it was her daughter who found me. She came back for the funeral." Moses said while moving his knight.

"I'm sorry you are dead. I miss you."

"Oh, child, I will always watch over you. You are never alone, you remember that. I am so sorry you found me. I didn't want you to see that. I know it is not your first dead body, but it was the first one you cared about." He moved his queen.

"How did you know..." I moved my rook.

"I'm dead. I know these things." He moved his bishop.

"Checkmate." I moved my queen.

"I can't even beat you dead" he chuckled.

"You are dead you old fool, not smarter. You remember THAT child, being dead doesn't make you smarter." Precious laughed.

I want to be with them, with this love I feel.I reach for a cucumber slice. "Child!" He slaps my hand "You still have things to do, important things."

"Like what?" I say sarcastically.

"I can't tell you. Just know it is true. But what I can tell you is that you promised to play the blues at my funeral, and you better keep your promise. If you don't I will haunt you all your days." And his eyes popped out of his head.

I screamed. I woke up. Wet. cold. I sat up and realized hour had passed. The rain had stopped. and there was a double rainbow over the hill. I ran and ran until I was immersed in the colours. I found the end of the rainbow it was by the lake. There was no gold...I felt immersed in the love of Moses and Precious. I felt the hatred and sadness of my mother and her family leave.

I could hear Moses say "It is was it, girl, you can't make the blind see, you can't make people understand what they can not. Dance in the rainbow, know your own love. Be your own love. Know you are perfect in every way. Even if no-one else can see it."


Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labour, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school where children played,
Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

E. Dickerson