The Angels

The Angels

They rise from the green of the sea,
     dripping with youth,
and run onto the beach.
Like them I too was an acolyte of truth,
     a carmelite of the flesh,
but that was long ago.
Now I am an old man resting in shade,
     a shadow falling on sand.
What matters it, their bodies young and
     arching toward the sun,
that long ago and in a far-off land
these spotted hands, then golden bright,
     once soared with angels,
the great wings
beating furiously in the empty air,
     filled with light.
It happened like a dream; when all was done,
perhaps was not at all.
The years passed quickly then
as I listened for that call,
     which never came again
and, finally, stopped listening in the end.
Now I wait for rain,
away the burning glory
that sends the brightness surging through their limbs
and leaches out their life.
In some distant shadow world,
they too shall know the darkening of their sun,
and memories once of fire will fade then pass.
But now, O now, cheeks golden in time,
they rise from their sea of innocence,
forgetting how quickly grains of sand can run.
From my place in the shade
I try to warn them, feebly waving my arms,
     but they pay no heed.
Bereft of sight,
they are lost in the sanctuary of youth, their wings
     beating, beating like angels
in the bright dying light.

– Chidananda Burke.

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