There and Back... Again

- jan-u-wine

Waking thoughts.
 
A confusion of consciousness,
freighted by sleep.
 
Pain.
 
Loss.
 
Disbelief.
 
In later years he would remember
the first thing he did remember,
 
the first thought that leapt  from
nothing into being with such fierce speed,
 
that almost he laughed
(except....
 
he was not sure
 
he could laugh,
not certain he might recall such sound from his silenced throat)
at its very oddity:
 
he wondered
if the Sun's warm fingers
 
felt
differently
 
upon a rounded ear,
 
wondered, as the heat of it
fell upon his side,
 
his arm,
his face,
like a hand placed there in gentle blessing.
 
Sweet Spring Sun.

It even (as he wondered)
warmed

his hair.
 
And then,
 
oh, then,
 
he could smell the green scent
of the field
 
and even the difference as
dew'd day-break
 
pushed towards grass-dried noon,
sweet promise holding him in a blanket of dawn.
 
And he kept his eyes closed,
 
just
 
breathing
and
 
listening to his heart beat:
 
soft,

and



hard.
 
(feeling  pain reborn in his hand at the latter,
almost as if the bone were still bared,
{nerves strung raw in the crimson'd chamber}
almost as if blood still pulsed and ran
from the wound)
 
and the birds making small sounds in the brake,
 
low,
like sleepy lullabies -
 
murmurs of life
about to awaken,
 
glad
and
 
hesitant,
all at once.
 
'Like me’, he thought, ‘like me!'
 
And they had laid him down upon a bed of straw,
with just his cloak between,
 
and it felt...
 
he had to think on how it felt,
 
think on the homeliness of the straw,
sharp little points sticking and rustle-shifting
if he moved,
 
and the cloak,
there,
 
between him and those rough points,
grey weave familiar and  soft like a dreme and better than any pillow
beneath his cheek.
 
And he felt a great tightness about his throat,
 
(all the tighter for there being nothing truly
there, now),
 
 
a great unwillingness to open his eyes,
lest there be nothing but darkness,
 
 
and a great urgency, as if the opening
were as needful as the taking of a breath
after having been too long submerged.
 
He reasoned
that if there were naught save darkness,
 
darkness,
alone,
 
then all the world should have ended.
 
He would be quick upon the following.
 
He did not know,
in that moment
 
which he feared more:
 
the darkness,
 
or
the World with its light, its sound, its
 
Life.
 
For if the World were there,
 
there,
as the soft persistence of light against his lids insisted,
 
why, then,
 
he could not keep his eyes closed,
could he,
 
not keep them kindly closed until the dremes
of dappled sun and the small sounds of birds
and the smell of sweet earth
 
folded into dremeless rest.
 
He had not thought beyond the Mountain,
 
had not thought
there might yet be Light
 
nor a rising beyond the Fall.
 
 
Courage was not a word he used to himself,
not anymore.
 
It was a word from tales.
 
Just
a word,
 
he thought, and it might embrace
a lone sword singing its deadly blooded
song amongst a legion of enemies
 
or
 
something as seeming simple as 
the unclosing of one's eyes.
 
 
In a life split to a nicety betwixt books and bravery,
(bravery, like courage, being just a word,
a word which could know naught of deeds)
 
it was by far
(or near....)
 
(or...There AND Back Again)

(he readied himself to make the attempt))
 
the very bravest thing
he ever did.