You escaped death in the primitive dream,
Fate dragging you through the sudden currents
where you glide in the dark to find your prey,
listening for their electric shadows.
In deep-water canyons you cannot slip
the blue-green wayfare of your chthonic skin.
It's warmth -near the surface- that can kill you.
EPISTLE TO A DAUGHTER OF MEMORY
Saarland summer souls.
Once we breathed deeply
of her August earth.
Only you know me
my daughter. You know
starlight, we are made.
Our home stays with us,
stronger than the taste
of a haunted ship.
Forest - you are damp with undeceived time.
The winter's snow-dappled lanes of starlight
weave a formidable strength against the
white-shrouded years' labyrinthine distance, where
your branches watched beasts dance in fury
beneath the moon's frozen cirrus angels
while cold anger turned magical stillness.
In darkness and silence you etch the sky.
You hear the shadowed earth spend well the night.
Your peace cleanses bitter dreams, Ardennes.
- near Arlon, Belgium, November 1998.
Jeffrey C. Alfier lives in Tucson, Arizona, holds an M.A. in Humanities, and has served as an adjunct faculty member with City Colleges of Chicago's European Division. He is a member of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. Publication credits include "Because I Fly" (McGraw-Hill), "A Time of Trial" (Hidden Brook Press), and the journals Columbia Review, Conspire, CrossConnect, Melic Review, Niederngasse, Paumanok Review, Poetry Greece, Stolen Island Review, and War, Literature and the Arts.
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