“Mara, The Demon” by Tami Boehle-Satterfield

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You came with your breath
Billowing.
The scent of moth balls and cedar,
Preserved from the past.
You leaned into me
And I felt your cold, papery, white skin,
Like a ghostly breath.

And all the fear for my future
Spilled
In the broken and cracked sidewalk.
Like pieces of a game,
Cradled in the sing song,
“Step on a crack and break your mother’s back.”
To myself, I asked,”How do I let go?”

The fog rolled in as
Your ancient hand opened.
Blood-red garnets
Rained
From your royal fingertips.
Cut and faceted.
Like freshly spilled blood in the sunshine,

Their many faces sparkling.
A loyal chorus of little girls
Skipping rope,
Hopping scotch,
Forgiving our trespasses.
To myself, I asked,
“How do I dare let go?”

Cruelly, the garnets turned to tasty candies
And in my anguish
I bent to the ground,
A supplicant,
A humbled petitioner.
“Oh dear God,
How do I ever let go?”

And the wind rose up
And distracted my despair,
And I thought the heavens opened
And poured
A mighty reckoning down on me.
I took shelter under a fig tree,
Rested for a while.

Awakeded by the coo of the Mourning Dove
Sounding,
The earth wiped clean.
My loyalty to past transgressions unrecognizable.
I breathed in the sweet spring of pardon.
Noted you were gone,
With your pockets full of candy and your fists of rage.

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