Unused Wings

May 28, 2014

I often write short phrases down for later use. One such recently was, ‘Your Mothers Unused Wings’. It triggered a question in my mind about someone clearing out their Mothers house and finding a box in a closet containing a pair of metaphorical wings. Brand new, unused. It did not happen to me. My Father had that onerous task. But the idea made me write this following poem that deals with how little we know of each other and how few of us open that box.

Working under a cloud of sadness
Cleaning a mother’s home
After their death.
All the familiar objects
Are so much heavier
Loaded with emotion
Triggered by every trinket touched.
And the unfamiliar
Items never seen before
Not really secret
But secretive
Shed an unfamiliar light
Or a tragic one
On the lost life.

Add some desire you had
For resolution
Or proof of affection
A letter un-mailed, explaining…
Everything, less,
Or adding further mysteries.
Photos signed with a revealing scrawl
In a curious masculine hand.
And flowing in your mind
As you reduce a life to a list
For disposal, dispersal
A certainty
A knowing
That what you see is not the whole
The whole life

There’s something missing
That might explain
Her wistful expression
Her unexpressed longing,
The aura of regret,
You recall it easily.
A perfume of disappointment
Lingering.

And when you finally
Discover her dark journals
Her writing, but reflecting a stranger
A talent, a power, a presence
Never revealed, never known
But rich and sharp
With bright witty language
You understand this is a set of wings
Dusty with neglect
Heavy with melancholia
Unused wings.

Unused wings
One pair
One pair out of millions.