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Heroic Couplet revision

Naucrate at the Death-scene of Icarus

 ”In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” (Matthew 2:18)

Hand spun, now crumpled, wings hang like gentle
sails, harnessed with leather to his genteel

back. Hair, deep as night, lies in folds, laced through
with weeds, on the sky-runner’s quiet brow.

Red shadows, like winter trees, stretch across
in congealing, rusted rivers. Limbs, traced

in blood, pooling red seas that gather
beside him. I inherit Gaea’s¹ wrath

as mother to him, still and quieted.
Time pardons none, not even the dead,

a berry stain of bruise spreading, smearing
youth’s pinked, glowing cheek. None desiring

him now. None knowing the strength of his arms
to serve his own sublime, fool-hearty aims.

The women don’t come wreaths, rose-wound.
Erota², playing her zither, cannot be found.

Where are the sandy-footed Mourners with
sable hair? Beauties promised by such strength?

Not here. Not here to comb his soft flesh for feathers,
nor to wipe salt dust from his skin. Not here.

I alone, his chattel mother, beside
his cobbled bed, kneeling, tears mixed in blood.

For cover, I raise his mound of lichened rocks,
but cannot move him. The boy’s body speaks

in arched and lengthened lines toward the sky.
Closed eyes, slackened fingers seeking beauty

even in death.  He reaches for the sun,

the rapture of Muse-beauty killed my son.

¹ in Greek religion and mythology, the earth, daughter of Chaos, both mother and wife of Uranus (the sky) and Pontus (the sea).  She helped bring about Uranus' overthrow by the Titans, because he had imprisoned her sons.
² Muse of lyric poetry.

Original post by Whitney

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