On That Beautiful Shore
2018 04 16
After trudging over brown snow three hours,
Susanna pauses on the sloping ridge
and watches ice on rooftops glimmer gray.
Bare white birch trees along the narrow road
whisper to each other about lost love
as cold breeze blows sparkles across the fields.
"I am the sparkles of forgotten love,
scattered across my frozen heart," she smiles,
and wraps thin shawl tighter around her breast.
Susanna senses behind her in trees
the man in the long black coat, so she turns
and sees nobody but one large black crow.
Shiver of fear jolts her spine, and her skin
flushes hot blood, so she transforms her soul
into the snowy owl with golden eyes.
Huddling behind thin tree, Susanna gasps
and holds her breath, still as the sparkling snow,
listening alert for strange sounds while sun glows.
The sun glows sparkling on ice-crusted snow,
motionless as the hawk that glides on wind
then dives swift as lightning to snatch its prey.
"I may get eaten if I try to run,
but I will freeze to death if I remain,
so I have but to choose how I will die."
Hearth smoke from the farmhouse chimney drifts up
on angel wings that curl around the moon
that flashes a moment between black clouds.
Longing for its warmth, when they all ate cakes,
and drank hot chocolate while singing sweet hymns,
Susanna stands and walks toward cozy home.
Shadow of horror looms up from the snow
so Susanna runs, leaping over snowdrifts,
down hill toward her home with the glowing hearth.
Heart beating like wind blustering in trees,
Susanna runs over the arching rainbow
to lush flower-blooming fields of Elysium.
Astonished at the beauty of the meadows,
Susanna wanders with delight on shore
of the river that glows through grove of trees.
Warm sunlight glimmers on colorful flowers
where bees drift over petals to collect
gold pollen that sparkles across lush fields.
Dancing alone in fields of Elysium,
Susanna chases giant butterflies
and whistles with birds twittering in fruit trees.
Standing in the soft breeze, Susanna sings,
"In the sweet by and by beyond my door
we shall all meet on that beautiful shore."
Kneeling by the waterfall of blue light,
Susanna reaches out her hands to catch
flowing sparkles and drink nectar of life.
Waking at midnight in silver moonlight,
Susanna huddles shivering by the door
of her farmhouse, so she jiggles the handle.
The door is locked, so she shouts loud and knocks,
but no one answers, so she grabs the rock
and bashes it hard till the door creaks open.
The seven bodies of her family
lie contorted around the glowing hearth,
soaked in blood, and throats slit by a sharp knife.
The young boy with a fishing pole and knife
stares at her from behind the dining table,
"They would not let me come inside to eat."
Striding swiftly toward the pantry, she smiles,
and retrieves two loaves of bread and white butter,
then sets them on the table with sweet honey.
The boy smiles as she slices the cold bread,
spreads butter smooth, then pours gold honey thick,
and they eat together with cups of milk.
Putting wood on the fire, Susanna slouches
on the rocking chair where her mother sat,
and pretends to fall asleep by the flames.
Peering through her eyes at the golden glow,
Susanna waits for hours till the young boy
snores in sleep, clutching the bloody knife close.
Heart pounding like the hawk that soars on wind,
Susanna creeps through shadows of stark fear,
and gingerly snatches the bloody knife.
Thrusting it straight into his beating heart,
Susanna staggers back when the boy howls
in horror and claws at the piercing knife.
Quivering all over in shock from the pain,
the boy stares at her with large startled eyes
till the spark of his soul vanishes dark.
Taking a deep shuddering breath of relief,
Susanna wipes his hot blood off her hands,
then drinks another large cup of cold milk.
Putting a fresh pine log on the warm fire,
Susanna rocks back and forth in the chair
and hums the hymn In the Sweet By and By.
#Poem #Poetry #NPM #NPM18 #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo #ArtOfPoetry #Paradise #Survival #Wilderness #Heaven #Horror
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