will man escape
will man escape

By the skin of his
teeth or
only just.  All the while
one lonely question
pushing up against his mind
like the gate, unlatched, in the wind
with what?

Running a list of possible escape routes
a prayer under the breath, like
the barren woman before the priest
nearly mad with the desire for life 
for seed to root in her womb and crack through the death 
cemented in her own body.

Will man to escape like the crowd
watching in horror the blazing apartment fire
babies dangled from the window by unlikely saviours
who singe and burn to spare the innocent
while ash churns into the sky.

If only he follows the instructions
his mother gave before church
as she spit cleaned the jam off his face
clicked her tongue at the tear in his
pants, just below the knee. If only he puts belief behind the prayer
she prayed with him each night as she tucked him in
tethered him to bed
to prevent him from floating off into the world of dreams
her loving, desperate method to keep him for another day
or year. 
Not before mindfully planning his route.

© 2009 Andrew Kooman