By Trae Stewart
Shiny wire rims encircle wrinkled eyelids,
pinkish chiffon veils gliding across Sycamore orbs;
cornflower blue sclera injected with burgundy webs,
underlined by ashen puffs of fatigue.
Winces from fissured knuckles,
scoured and scalded,
to tenderly provide for the nascent and historied.
Beneficence to others, as vulturous time tortures the caring.
Weighted feet ground a heavier heart,
Yet feather light, transformed by a code.
Jolts of hope pass inward, implore a normal rhythm.
Struggling against the persistent sickle’s edges.
A brief journey for some.
Desiccated palms, camouflaged by nitrile, revealed
When slumber seduces the sun.
Scour and scald before respite;
Sycamore orbs sunken by tsunamis of need.
To return with the sun, with fire and warmth,
A glow of seemingly inexhaustible light,
Dims and flickers,
Sustains and envelops.
A source of energy and prowess.
Even when fatigue and darkness cavalry incessantly,
Weathered Sycamores focus on Atlantean tasks
Buttressed by instruments of care,
Scoured and scalded.
One more shift.
Lit by sparks of duty, vows;
Fired by effort and skills;
Maintained by compassion and hope;
Supported by teamwork;
Protected by salve.
Until the sun dreams anew.
Trae Stewart is an emerging queer poet and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner. He writes poetry to center and ground himself so that he may best help others. Trae’s poetry has been recently featured in San Antonio Review, Aurum Journal, orangepeel, and Survive & Thrive. He is also a widely published academic researcher and seasoned educator.