A father/daughter poem – “Alchemies of Fire and Water”

In so many ways, JD is just like her dad. Love to you, girly.

Alchemies of Fire and Water

           for Jordannah

              I first read Frankenstein at the best possible time:
               when I was too young to understand it.
                    —Gene Wolfe

She tosses flowers in the stream—
       he loves me      he loves me not
each one sweeping bird-like
       to its own reflection,
plop giving in to the carry
       of that softest of extinctions
she feels in the power
       of her emptied fingers.
~
       He learns quickly for a thing.
Flowers fall like anvils
       from his stiffened hands thunk
and are gone, leaving his arms
       free, leaving him only the light.
That is the power of fire.
       He throws her in and
wills her to float.
~
The good people, safe,
       behind their lofty windows,
boil their hate for dinner,
       disregard the physics of his love.
When night comes, they
       light torches and hunt him down.
Their fire streaks the air
       sswishhh like X-rays.
~
       I tell this story to my daughter
in that darkness before sleep
       overtakes her, before
the moonless wind brings rain,
       before the timbers of this house stretch.
One day she too will know
       the power of fire. She will tell this story
like water falling over rock.

– the poem was first published in Necessary Motions

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~ by samofthetenthousandthings on June 19, 2011.

2 Responses to “A father/daughter poem – “Alchemies of Fire and Water””

  1. Gorgeous poem, Sam

  2. My Frankenstein connection comes through in this piece. Thanks for the read & comment, Susan.

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