WWP Poem #25: Brick

Nothing is yellow here. I am surrounded
by brownstone giants who have risen up around me,
poking square holes in the gray cloud ceiling far above
my head. I haven’t seen a cyclone in years, and
the closest thing to the charcoal funneled eddy of wrath
that I’ve seen since I’ve been here were the twin smoke pillars of grief
pouring from injured and dying towers nine years ago.

There is something about grief that curls up inside your caverns
and calls you home. Sometimes, it chooses the spot behind your navel;
sometimes, it sleeps where your cage of bone houses your last time bomb,
wet with red life and still ticking;
and sometimes, it blocks an intersection inside your throat and traps
speech and breath behind it. There is no
escaping this thing, especially when your Louboutin heels
won’t pretend to be ruby slippers anymore and
the spinning wind won’t steal you away because
it’s afraid of the rising brick that splits apart every horizon around you
from the ground up – either that, or it pities the airplane bruises
still silent and loud on the back of every building within a ten mile radius.

And even last night, I dreamed that
the cement beneath my feet turned to brick. Yellow brick. I walked
right out of Manhattan, right past through this cement and brownstone jungle,
right past every tall, sky-studded fable with angled shoulders that
chokes back the tears and calls itself a New Yorker. And I
followed it until gray gave way to green, car gave way to horse, and
my heels begin to grow red gemstones and scintillate in
every direction. As I coiled up inside this dream, it
began to fall away from me, leaving me floating on the surface
of the broken ocean of my bed. 

So there is no magic that will bring these things
back. The Wizard died a long time ago, passing the
Tin Man, the Lion, and the Scarecrow in his exiting fury. And even they
have passed me, aboard some night train that only
the emerging ride to see the last sunset before breaking through
to – what? Heaven, Hell, oblivion, Bardo, I’ve yet to decide
what it is – I just know that I may never see it.  Hell, I’m
older than you, older than the worn printed paper in your
hands, older than the young woman that pretended to be me across
the faces of celluloid frames. I’ve wanted to go back
to Oz for years, but the cyclone never comes. And neither does
the void.

Written 10/26/10
© 2010 Nicole Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.

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This poem was written for We Write Poems Prompt #25: The Wizard of Oz. I decided to explore things from Dorothy’s point of view…long after she left Oz. Hope you enjoyed the poem.

-Nicole
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About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
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7 Responses to WWP Poem #25: Brick

  1. vivinfrance says:

    What an intensely described poem, full of emotion but nevertheless very visual. You must be very proud of this.

  2. pamela says:

    Nicole,
    The imagery in this poem is outstanding.
    Nicely done to prompt.
    Pamela

  3. 1sojournal says:

    This is a fantastic piece of writing, vividly detailed, filled with an array of emotions, and it flies off the page. Wonderful!

    Elizabeth

  4. gospelwriter says:

    Brilliant! So much I love here, that feels like ‘home’:

    There is something about grief that curls up inside your caverns
    and calls you home.

    …There is no
    escaping this thing, especially when your Louboutin heels
    won’t pretend to be ruby slippers anymore

    Pretty much speechless, again.

    Love the idea of writing from the elderly Dorothy’s point of view (wish I’d thought of that).

  5. b_y says:

    I like so many things about this one, Nicole, especially the “dream sequence” and:

    There is something about grief that curls up inside your caverns
    and calls you home.

  6. Irene says:

    I like the idea of the menagerie of Oz boarding the night train. You’ve employed mythical storytelling with the modern bleak landscape. With your usual flair, dear Nicole. Though I wish some the narrrator would let go of that grief.

  7. Pingback: Brick (New Version) | Raven's Wing Poetry

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