Old Arc – Poem by Mary Beth

Old Arc

by Mary Beth Zeleznik Artz

O relevant arc of age, forgotten and abraded, works that once labored to assert height.
For ease and advantage, your carved braiding traded, with verdant valleys and hills, now planed in our sight.
Old arc, your reverberation has never faded, though we are too caught up in the fighting to engage in the fight.
But upon you our inevitable is fiercely weighted.

And we waited, solemn, for our weights transference, a load to be borne by your crowning stone.
Look up after a forest’s worth of breaths endurance, and down to the threshold, though you may look alone.
With the will to chew through earthly bridle durance, to look so alone with your senses honed.
Where you made not just the entry but the entered known.

Old arc here is where your mortar is dried to sand, by those who sprinkle it into their eyes.
Flaming wounds are dowsed and fanned, powder, the substance of former ties.
Subdued mind built for the unseen, subverted craft of hand, and a heart’s foregone pounding of the several tries.
The early fire extinguished by indifferent sighs.

Tried and sentenced to a love unrequited, threshing the hold for an uncrossed form.
Candles with clean wicks, but yearning lighted, shrouds to our insides are curtains torn.
To your stone, a false friendly fire short sighted, exposes your many faces worn.
Ricochet felt at your beauty shorn.

But old arc, we can still hear the sounds you made, by pain of chisel smoothed over by intent.
We play them in our heads in sleep haunted and frayed, come down to us by the sharp top point over which you’re bent.
And lent our ears to your unyielding, crying aid, our welded armor your hail song dents.
Like Crickets to soothe us, you sing on the blade.

But allow your children one last sweeping motion, this time, not to walk by, but swirl beneath.
To dust off the crumbs we cast at your feet, with feathers from a dove, in the shape of wreath.
Now the tears of regret come home as the cleaning devotion, of our roped off rooms of our own notion.
Upon the cord we will draw our swords, unsheathed.

And sword of paint to cut at our behest, we are hollowed by the same tools to which you gave way.
Flooded by steep mournings painted crest, as interior waits for light, like torch to a cave.
Hues deepen across the canvas of Our Lady’s pierced vest.
What you did to our voices in the gold of your nave.
Old Arc you crowned us with a glimpse of the Infant’s rest.

Copyright 2015


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