Alia, the Beautiful

by Grace Andreacchi

Alia, the Beautiful
     a poem in three parts

1.  Torn Apart

the sky is torn
apart the stars
lie scattered
upon the dead ground
a handful of frost flowers
wrapped in clothing and
plastic bags
we gathered her up
in horror before the
dogs ate her
seedpod lighter
than light in our hands
called her Alia
‘the Beautiful’
brought teddy bears
to mark the place
now plush sentinels stare
with shoe button eyes at eternity
her mother is likely
to require medical attention

2.  Light

You bring good news
pale solemn angel
that halo round your head
is real
parents on plastic chairs
creak lean in and photograph
intensely
listen intensely
unto you is born this day
in the city of Bolton
a newborn child
alive in a pool of light
a lamp inside a glass
a glass like a star
a star like a felled flower
light upon light

3.  Smoke

the dogs snuffling hot
breath on my face

teeth begin to tear
I awake screaming

I have taken your place
under the black leaves

under the sea of darkness
wave upon wave of smoke

the Lord of Mercy
will pardon me

my tears are flowing streams
that water your heaven

come now, daughter
on the feathers of a bird