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Compare and Contrast: two poems

1999:
(author: me.)

I no longer know your face.
Your voice comes odd to mind.
How has this changed you?;
stranged you.

Once your breath came twin to mine,
our bodies flowed in tune.
You have estranged me,
changed me.
Where is the root of what you wrought?
Changed me, deranged me.

Once I stood proud behind your side:
champion, companion.
I stooped; you left me in the dark.
Companion,
abandon.

There I hid to hide my pain;
abandoned -- no champion.
Who fought for you, you now scorned.
In pain, insane. To cut my heart with your gift sword --
insane, red rain.

I knelt for you and bared my heart.
It rained my pain.
I knelt, no shame. You scorned my pain.
Insane, in shame, I knelt.
You cursed my name.

All change in vain, for you
deranged the sane,
enraged others in my name.
They felt my pain
and saw my shame;
you left me naked in the rain.

Enraged, insane,
I cursed your name.
I stooped and stumbled, fought the pain.

Enraged, estranged. You wrought my change.

Your rotten heart should feel the flames,
the shame,
stripped, tied,
naked in the rain.

I loved in vain.


2007: (also by me)


I stand strong; I stand alone.

There's this knot inside my soul, behind the wall,
and I know my inner child is screaming and crying,
but I,
I am an adult,
and I stand,
and I stand strong,
and I stand alone.

It would be too easy to double over crying,
but I'm driving, and I can't look away from the road,
and I'll have to drive an hour before I get home. So I stand. I look.
I don't look behind, not really,
just glances back into the rearview,
watching for hazards about to overtake me.

The end of the world doesn't come
in claustrophobic screaming hysterics half in the dark
like the end of the last world did.
This world ended with the sky as witness,
kind and close and clouded
and so impersonal and unfair.

I kneel;
I gather myself to my feet;
I stand tall with my chin up high and refuse to beg.
I stand. I stand.
I stand alone.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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