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Home: Writings: Poems: Triptych

Triptych: For My Sisters and Brothers

by Bud Polk

I. Ascent

In the middle of my head,
a perfect pinwheel,
shining with a million colors,
spins all night.

In the middle of my head,
a surging thesaurus
bounces off the walls like
ten thousand ping-pong balls.

body twitching,
I cling to reality.

I wish I were home.

II. Darkness descending

The sun has set
But it does not bring

Now comes the
Dark night of the

Fear and trembling,
The sickness
Unto death.

Slugs slither through my
Dreams leaving trails of slime.

The sun rises again
But brings no

Darkness above my head.
Darkness beneath my feet.
Darkness behind me.
Darkness in front of me.
Darkness to the right of me.
Darkness to the left of me.

I walk in darkness.

In darkness,
It is ended.

III. The butterfly and the roach

I see a spicebush swallowtail butterfly,
A field of black and turquoise
Bordered with white, and underneath,
Large eyes of orange, as she stops
At each flower to taste its nectar,
But never stopping for long.

I see a palmetto bug, what
Southerners call a roach,
Fat-bodied, dark, ugly, as
It flies, insinuating itself
Slowly around the room.

Scrunched underfoot,
It shatters rather than squishes,
Because it is mostly empty.

But then I see as I see
Because I have always
Been bipolar.

Copyright, 1996 by Bud Polk

Modified December 11, 2002

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