Vashon Writers: John Purrington
January 2002

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May 17, 1987
by John Purrington

First child --
   a not quite life,
   a never known life
couldn't get a grip,
just couldn't hang on --
maybe all the pieces didn't fit.
It doesn't seem to matter that we
don't know why.
The uterus carries its own wisdom.
Dreams, hopes, fears reside elsewhere,
and the cleansing flow of blood was
so unambiguous, so final.
Perhaps it's the simplest way to handle things --
the crimson clarity,
   direct, no nonsense:
it lets us get on with the cleansing
of our souls,
   mourning the loss of our hopes and dreams and
   our love for a little not quite life.


Untitled I
by John Purrington

A white stone lies half buried -
   or half exposed
in the bed of a stream moving
easily, naturally toward the sea.
Tiny floating things move with
   the water,
rushing quickly through its narrows
and pausing briefly in its eddies.


Untitled II
by John Purrington

A thousand things come and go
in the space of a thought.
   The whole complexity of a loved person
presents itself
so clearly and so vividly,
and yet incomprehensible.


Untitled III
by John Purrington

This void casts its own
   damned shadow
and nothing beyond is percievable
until a mousy haired librarian
   smiles warmly
and a small child asks "what"


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