Thomas lifts his hairshirt and
the wound beneath, recalls - as
he stands in the tall, thin shadows cast
by a crooked lampshade beside the diligent bed -
how his chest was once wound free.
That was when he was young, blithe,
inhabited the Tao moment, free
of the need for belief, the future -
a thread yet to be woven, unhindered, unkept.
Then came the children.
Now his heart is constantly exposed, a wound
unable to heal - a place for all manner of things
to visit, to perch
on fleshy lips or enter and touch
the heart within.
Thomas lies in bed, bare chested, missing
that kiss at night when his naked wife
would lie by his side, her wound and his
seek solace as they
wondered what the children were up to.
His wife buried, children grown
into their own wounds to tend, their own
spasms to navigate. In the dark, Thomas slips
his hand into the gap and touches, gently,
his own beating heart.
He stares, opened-eyed, up at the unseen
ceiling, seeks assurance, a belief
that all would be well
with his children and theirslong after his time has been and gone.