Exile

by Robert Kennedy

Listen. The key is turning
In the derelict lock.
Remember. The exile is strange
And knocks softly on the door,
Not wishing to disturb
The occupiers of his
Memory.

When a father beats
His child
The child belongs
To its father,
As a father belongs
To his motherland
Like the key which,
When turning in the lock,
Becomes the lock.
So, a father becomes
As a child
With sorrow
And the weight of a
Pause,
A snagging
Of the lock.

But I am buried
In mirthless laughter,
Like a moth in a smoking
Candle,
By the weight of
Motherness
In mother.
Mother is supreme, they say.
I hear only silence
And the soft quaking

Of selfsacrifice.
I belong to the ache
Of that silence.

Listen.
The comfort of that silence
Beckons you.
But it will
Bury you,
Silence you,
Kill you.