Oh the power to make a rainbow,
to draw cheer into a sullen room,
Beatnik, mother called it.
Black blinds, black music
incense smoke and hash.
Like a collection of happiness, those prisms were,
nondescript stones of glass with such talent
in that Saturnian age, when joy was scarce
and treasured beyond gold.
Over the years, they fell like sisters
given one by one into marriage
with brutish, rough-handed men.
One was woven into a dreamcatcher, twisted
from willow and twine, a gift of peace
from an impoverished mother
to a newborn child.
Some were smashed in an unwanted move
to a place of anger and self-deprivation.
Where was the hope,
where was the beauty in that?
Others were chipped by a depressive musician
who never wanted to be a father,
hiding his unhappy face
as he mopped the bath’s condensation
from the windows
in a battle he’d never win.
Today two, only two remain
from that glorious collection
of suncatchers, and they hang
in the kitchen now
older now, wiser, but still richly infused
with the talent to send their speckled cheer
across the wall.
Cheer that is tinged with remorse.
April 7, 2009