Angel

by John Stocks


We found the body of an Angel,
Broken on the rocks below the bay,
His tattered wings were scattered,
His hair was matted with blood.

You smiled serenely,
Wise beyond your years at five:
‘I think he’s dead
And we must bury him,’
You said.

We had a tiny plastic children’s spade
And dug for hours, and then we had a grave.

We buried him at the turn of tide
As the sun slipped slowly to the sea,
Our faces amorphous in the twilight
Indistinct and shadowless
As if we, too, were dead
Or hovering
Formless
Like Gods
Across the vast expanse of sand.

For years my dreams were full of Angels.
They were dark-haired and golden-eyed,
They flickered like moths
Beneath my lamplight.

When I cried myself to sleep
In the Bogart-haunted
Wasteland of the night,
They would come
And sing
And comfort me,
Half-dream
Part incantation.

And now I call myself a poet
And scrape the earth to find
Words to trust.

I do not believe in Angels,
Gods, or Demons.
The umbilical cord of consciousness
Has withered into dust.


Copyright © 2008 by John Stocks

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