Thurman P. Woodfork
“The Penitent” by Morteza KatouzianDreaming, grim memories
wrapped ‘round him like a cloak,
swirl about like spectral smoke,
mind drifting through the rubble
of anguished recollections,
masticating those doleful days
like chewing sweet confections.
He gently strokes the aching
as though caressing a sweet lover,
yet searching, probing, scanning,
always seeking to discover
some relief from the haunting –
a cure for the living pain –
perhaps at least the coda
to this damned, recurring refrain
that plays forever and ever
on the soundtrack in his brain…
a funeral march, an alluring dirge,
a melodious elegy.
Synced to the mournful rhythms
of his personal threnody,
he molds a mental stiletto
forged of sharpened, unearned guilt
and thrusts it, with a prayer,
into his vitals to its hilt.
Then, rising like the Phoenix
ascending from the flames,
he takes a seat and wearily
begins his penance once again.
©Copyright August 21, 2003 by Thurman P. Woodfork
(Revised July 11, 2008)