Saturday, November 24, 2012

"The Mist"

Stepping outside,     
I paused and raised my face to the mist.   
Her cold hands slapped my cheeks crimson,     
making me gasp in surprise.   
I hunkered down my shoulders,   
drawing the collar of my coat tighter to fight off the unexpected chill.   
The predawn sky hung heavy with haze that whispered into my ear,     
“Go back to bed.”   
The street lay in waiting silence with its lights haloed weak and pale.   
The fog muffled my steps as I crossed the slick sidewalk.   
She entranced me with her ebbing dance as I inhaled her essence.    
She engulfed me with her silken touch as I stepped deeper into her embrace.   

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Friday, November 23, 2012

"Tone of Voice"

I’m okay, fine   
she whispers without eye contact   
I’ve got it handled   
Don’t worry   
He misses the hollowness of her words   
overlooks her subtle cues—   
her Woman Speak   
She tucks her feet onto the couch,   
pulls herself into a tight ball under a red throw   
stares at the television without seeing   
sighing deeply    
Oblivious, he flips the channel     
to his station   
all’s right   
content to listen to her words   
instead of her tone of voice   
Her annoyance and sadness battle across her features   
surreptitiously, she wipes her silent tears   
waits for him to notice her heaviness   
His attention rivets on the game   
its motion mesmerizes him   
takes him away and isolates her   
She grabs hold of anger over sorrow   
indignation throws her off the couch   
propels her into their bedroom   
fuels the door slam   
He sits with bewilderment   
Cautiously, he approaches the closed door   
tentatively tapping   
Can I do something?   
No. I’m okay, fine     
I’ve got it handled   
Don’t worry   
He opens the door anyway   
pulls her into his arms   
In tenderness, he wipes the tears from her face   
We’ll handle it   
he soothes and reassures with understanding   

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Monday, November 19, 2012


As the first frost neared, the water overflowed   
with reflected color of summer’s demise   
High in the wind, a remnant of warm days fell—   
alone—floating, turning, then softly at home   
Autumn silently ran among the towers,   
forcing the windowpanes to lose their fastened grasps   
In shimmering glory they cascaded down,   
shattering to rest at the tree roots below   
There, at last, by the river and on the curb,   
the vestiges of yesterday piled together   
They shift in the wind and await the first snow,   
wait to be buried in a blanket of cold.   

Copyright 1975 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Mother's Clone"

cradled gently in her arms   
Mother bends her head close to Child   
her finger feathers the pure smooth cheek     
her hair becomes a sheltering shield   
protecting them from prying eyes   
in syncopation Mother and Child breathe   
one without the womb   

Mother’s eyes mist as Child’s hair darkens   
her mouth becomes a rigid line     
when bluish eyes turn brown   
her voice takes on ice     
when others note differences   
in syncopation Mother and Child breathe   
one without the womb   

Mother’s heart hardens   
her Child wields her wayward will   
with terrible temper tantrums   
fists and teeth and legs fighting   
struggling against Mother’s programming   
in syncopation Mother and Child breathe   
one without the womb   

desperation drives Mother’s dissatisfaction   
she tethers Child with demands   
her fears feed phobias and fictional afflictions   
her disappointment distorts her love   
her rejection rips through Child   
in syncopation Mother and Child breathe   
one without the womb

Mother and Child stab and wound   
pushing and pulling in tangled bindings   
never severing the umbilical cord   
they dance in macabre madness   
enmeshed and ensnared within their love-hate trap   
in syncopation Mother and Child breathe   
one without the womb

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman