A Plagued Journey

There is no warning rattle at the door  
nor heavy feet to stomp the foyer boards.  
Safe in the dark prison, I know that  
light slides over
the fingered work of a toothless  
woman in Pakistan.
Happy prints of
an invisible time are illumined.  
My mouth agape
rejects the solid air and
lungs hold. The invader takes  
direction and
seeps through the plaster walls.  
It is at my chamber, entering  
the keyhole, pushing
through the padding of the door.  
I cannot scream. A bone
of fear clogs my throat.
It is upon me. It is
sunrise, with Hope
its arrogant rider.
My mind, formerly quiescent
in its snug encasement, is strained
to look upon their rapturous visages,  
to let them enter even into me.  
I am forced
outside myself to
mount the light and ride joined with Hope.
Through all the bright hours  
I cling to expectation, until  
darkness comes to reclaim me
as its own. Hope fades, day is gone  
into its irredeemable place
and I am thrown back into the familiar  
bonds of disconsolation.
Gloom crawls around
lapping lasciviously
between my toes, at my ankles,  
and it sucks the strands of my  
hair. It forgives my heady  
fling with Hope. I am
joined again into its
greedy arms.
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