Mary Theders-Rawle


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I can have all the blankets
on this big bed now
and keep books on the side
where you used to lie

I can smoke cigarettes
if I want
and wear plaid
and turn the light on bright
at 3am to write these words

But when the rain
comes pouring down
and a sparrow lights
close on the rail for refuge
and the petals of spring
fall softly to the ground

No eyes meet mine
in silent expectation
sharing the moment
without saying a word


Through the Walls

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She hears him laughing on the phone
nothing boyish about his laugh
she is just a little bit sweet on him
and it warms her heart to hear him laugh

He plays the guitar
and she enjoys the music
it makes her feel not so alone

He hears the quiet
then hears her man come home
hears her scream in rage
and beat him with her fists

He hears glass breaking
and lamps crashing
things thrown, and harsh words
he hears a car leave

She is crying
in the wee hours of the morning
deep sobs, uconsolable

He stirs, gets up to use the bathroom.

She hears the water running
knows that her crying has awakened him
and knows that he has heard;

Tears are welling in his eyes
and he desires to comfort her
but can never even admit
that he knows what happened

She leaves through her door
on the way to the market
her eyes red and face swollen

He leaves through his door
on the way to work
head slightly bowed, and silent
so as not to invade her heartache;

Not to acknowledge
that they both know
it is there.


It Has Rained

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Oh it has rained!
the sand along the river
still has that mottled texture
from where the raindrops fell
and no footprints
interrupt that texture
except for now, mine.

A smell arises in the air
it comes from the earth
and the water that
has fallen there
and the plants
that have received the mercy
of moisture from the sky.

Oh it has rained!
within my heart
the storm was furious
with hatred, fear and joy.
I did not know if I would live
and yet I took the chance—
yes, it has rained.

The clouds were heavy
and the sound of the rain
thundered on the roof
pummeled the plants
and filled the river
with nourishing water
while I waited.

This morning
clouds are breaking
and the sun is shining through.
the sand along the river
has that mottled texture
from where the drops have fallen
and no footprints
save my own.


For now

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I don't want to talk word definitions
just now,
about what love is and is not…
give me not a treatise on freedom
and the abundance or lack thereof.

Don't take me to another universe
just yet,
or even to another planet right close by
talk to me not of microns
or astronomical units either.

But hold me in your arms
for now,
and let me feel your realness
the warmth of your skin
and hear the music of your laughter.

And if we don't see each other
by chance,
in this world again, this time around
I'll still not forget, and not regret
the moments that we shared.


A Face

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A face that’s handsome
grows less so by the day

assume the perfect
man, woman, child, animal

and suddenly outcrop flaws
however slight, venial, or mortal

to sully that perfection
once thought to exist.

a face that’s average
grows less so by the day

expect the flaws
in man, woman and beast

And suddenly outcrops beauty
of unimaginable proportion

to delight the heart
and send the spirit soaring.