Depths of Hungers ~ A Sestina
Tie your life to the weather
and you soon learn the meaning
of everything elemental you cannot ignore:
how your body first will notice thirst,
then twist as your stomach withdraws in hunger,
then grow shaky, thinking warmth nourishes.
Food fills a part of you emptied but what nourishes
the dry interior isn't slow steady rain. You question whether
your wants matter when it's another's hunger
cracking open impoverished fields, reminding you of the meaning
of seasons in denial, of giving up and giving over to thirst
for the one thing you look to and cannot ignore.
It's true you do your best to ignore
where need settles inside, fast on what you know nourishes
the one not you. Long ago you learned to slake your thirst
in silence, never minding that quiet is the clue to how the weather
goes. Still, you seek in yourself ways to stretch meaning
from want, to climb out from the depths of your own hungers.
What's more than he could ever hunger
for, you give. What you give, you no longer can ignore.
You pick through remnants of time for tokens of meaning,
the celebrated ways an unexpected touch nourishes
reactions below the skin, resolves the days of stormy weather,
returns desire till it's spent, holds back your thirst
for more than he might offer. He does not check his thirst,
suffers no excuse to deny the appeal that hungers
outside your door, pays no mind to charting the weather
beyond the occasional storm cloud. What you would ignore
he has long since claimed your right, telling no one what nourishes
your loss of words, what leaves your life split in meaning.
So, imagine your story with a different ending; how, not meaning
to, you chance some connection borne of growing thirst
and discover how light even from a burned-out sun nourishes
what the eyes have missed, staves off return of hunger.
Count on everything elemental to be restored. Do not ignore
how your heart will race once you chance a change in the weather.
You trust deep thirst to be a sign you can't ignore
any more than a hunger you may not name. What nourishes
a heart through cruelest weather forever holds its meaning.
© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas
My other sestinas are:
Memory of Stones, Reminders to Forget
After-Effects of Fire