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OSI: Dawn

I’m once again participating in the poetry fun over at One Single Impression. If you enjoy poems and awesomeness of various stripes, why not pay them a visit?

“Dawn” can mean so many things – a new day, a new beginning, a new Tanya Tucker song…but in most of its iterations, it brings with it the idea of rebirth and renewal. I think there’s this magical period of early dawn – the morning equivalent to the gloaming that arrives when night falls – where we feel as though the day holds the infinite promise we knew so well as children; there’s a sense that we are once again new and able to become anything. It only lasts, of course, until we don both visible and invisible trappings of the adults we’ve become, but if we can hold onto even a little bit of it through the day, well, maybe there’s hope for us after all. With all this in mind, I give you:


Her eyes are open;
They have been since the first light
crept into the room.

Lying here, in this
Nondescript hotel bed, in
a foreign city

The sheets are cool, light
against her tan skin, a thin
shield against the day

Within their shelter
She is not, for the moment,
Trapped by circumstance.

Nor is she the blade,
Nor the gun, nor the slow drip
Of sweet, vile poisons.

No, she simply is.
Her mind wanders, then, and she
thinks of her father.

Laughing, tossing her
In the air, his princess, his
dark-eyed protege.

Then, later, after
Sneaking cancer came to call,
Heir and replacement

She smiles at that;
“Heir replacement therapy.”
But the grin is tight.

She thinks, too, about
Her love – Mocha eyes, cream skin
Hair like banked embers.

Not hers anymore;
She can’t unsee the look
of undisguised terror

In those deep brown pools,
Can’t adequately explain
Why duty comes first.

She heard from a friend
That she’s with a man these days
Playing it straight (safe)

And now silver tears
Slip free from eyes closed against
Memory, regret.

But the bright dawn is
Becoming stronger, curtains
aglow with rose light

In a few moments
she’ll arise and don once more
Hard eyes and steel heart

Set aside frailty
Once more assassin’s heir
Set to topple kings

Or maybe she’ll keep
Her broken heart, here in the
Freshly broken dawn

And slip away, not
Into shadow and steel but
Realms of light and love.

Published in"The Gay."Claire De LunacyFantasyFun StuffLGBTLiteratureOne Single ImpressionpoetryPrideWriting


  1. Claire, what a fun, fantastic site! I played at a wedding a couple of years back… sitting at the baby grand, crooning standards, I noticed Michelle and Patricia… Michael and his current lover… John and Gene… all these LGBT guests. I pulled Michelle over and said, “Whassup?” Turns out the bride had “jumped the fence” and married a man after breaking up with her partner of five years. Needless to say, much Patsy Cline was requested… Hope this is not personal experience for you, because that’s very, very difficult. I’m an LGBT ally since age 5, when my mom told me about Uncle John and Uncle Tony. Very natural, and I raised my daughter the same way. We’re all activists, including my pastor husband.

    Thanks for your poem, it was painfully beautiful. Peace, Amy

  2. Amy, thank you for taking the time not only to visit, but to leave such a wonderful comment! 😀 It is ALWAYS lovely to have one’s work complimented, of course, but it is even lovelier to make a new friend who is fighting the good fight! Thanks again, and I of course will be paying quite a few visits to your blog in the future as well. Cheers!

  3. Powerful and poignant piece that reaches deep. Nice work!

  4. @Tumblewords Thanks so much! I really appreciate your regular readership and comments. 😀

  5. Leo LeoNo Gravatar

    very poignant.. like the descriptions here.. good one!

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