Tender Flesh



Sadness comes 

the cresting of a wave 

on a quiet beach

catching us unawares

like the sting of a wasp 

on tender flesh


Sadness finds us 

between rumpled sheets

though we smooth them out 

a creeping vine with the stealth 

of a summer wind 

chilling to frost


Sadness slips 

into the crevices of 

nostalgia-burned memories

wrought on the wheel of time

when we feel small

despite the call of the future


Sadness blooms 

with the full moon

under which careworn women

hang up their bloodied washing

toiling to stay afloat

and leave their mark


We are beating hearts

on the darkest nights

through the breaking dawn

each of us a story 

waiting to be written

full of promise and pain

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