write 31 days: dreamscape – day 5

frankincense & myrrh

The familiarity of places I’ve never been, 
the recognition of these merciful holds 
when I see them again, inhabit them again, 
like the mystifying ache for something old, 
worn, and uncanny when I opened the small wooden 
casket of frankincense and myrrh, a Christmas gift 
from my mother, no gold, but gold was never our language. 

That welcomed enveloping musk, and then the memory 
of trees, the memory of their dampness 
and the way you can sink into their contours, 
held and hidden, invisible to anyone 
who sees only a tree. In dreams there are places 
revisited like childhood nooks, beyond memory, 
that seem protected and maybe they are, maybe 
they will be, but you never know exactly what’s ahead
or who’s coming along, though you’re aware of the scent 
of smoky cherries before you round the corner, 
and there’s your father, gone ten years now and 
there he is, dying again, and there you are, 
in that familiar private place, almost too comfortable, 
longing for something old, buried, a little musty 
if truth be told, something to sweep over you like fire 
and remind you as you breathe it in, gasping, 
where you have always belonged. 

© MMWms 2020 


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Featured image: frankincense and myrrh box (manipulated with deep art effects)

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