healing (for julie)

the mantle of authority
weighed purple on my shoulders
burdensome brocade
sapping strength and spirit
silvered threads and gold once
shining have lost their luster
her slender fingers find the tassel
loosing constrictive knots
sensuous stroking weaves
synaptic accord
tingles scatter as she
peels the weighty garment
drops it deftly to the floor
who is this lady in white?
I ask. she smiles at the
apparition standing on
the head of the dragon
as her fingertips invade the
tender and ticklish hairline
at the back of my neck
Kuan-Yin she says, smiling
she came to my sister
in a dream, you know
she was dying, in a fever
my Buddha held a bowl of
goldfish for her
do you want them? she asked
my sister said: yes, I do
then you must live
to care for them
she works her magic on
my scalp and I ask her
who takes away your pain?
I can massage myself,
she says, and smiles again
I am seduced by her
warmth and innocence
her faith in miracles
brings a certain
damp warmth
and I want to repay her
kindness with soft
kisses wrapped in
crisp red paper.

Carrie Berry
© 1995


This poem first appeared in the SilkCocoon's White Wings Project in 1996.
White Wings Project