Poem: The Promise Land

By: Kimberly Potter Kendrick

promiseland

On the edge of the cliff I cowered
Jagged rocks, narrow path
Green fields of lilac and sunflowers
The strength of the mighty river below
One more step, could I fly?
A bird, yes, not I
It’s not what I desired
Turning back I cannot fully remember the whole journey
The poppy fields began my trek
The precarious trail drew me
I walked slowly
I climbed over stones, branches
I walked quickly
Blinders covered my eyes
Mesmerized, I proceeded
I searched in caves, under fallen trees, between boulders
It seemed never again would I discover the source of the enticement
Uncertain as to what I sought, but it’s enchanting song I heard
Follow me to the promise land
Mystical, charismatic; it coaxed
On the perimeter of the magical field began the dirt and gravel course
I began my climb upward
Arduous hike exhausting
Obstacles lie in my path
Those who had gone before me
Weary faces
Each still clutched poppies in their hands
Looming storm lead to heavy showers
Continuing my ascension
Periwinkle poppies dropped at my feet, most extraordinary I had ever seen
Catching my breath, compelled to forge ahead
Puzzled as to the reason
Unable to rationalize the pursuit of poppies, poppy seeds
Nearby the pathway’s end
Envisioning the fields beneath
The secret of the poppy sought
Standing on the peak, noticing how appealing the world below
Wilted poppies held in my shaking hand
Echoing off the highest point I again heard the call, the song I barely perceived
Wanting to return to the lilacs and sunflowers; exhaustion overtook me
From nowhere, a voice whispering, “Let me take you to the promise land.”
Bewildered as to why I trailed the poppies
Poppies vowed enchantment, instead bestowed bondage
The voice gently encouraged my departure
Guiding me slowly downward a step at a time
At the base of the mountain, I gasped
The poppy fields awaited, inviting me once again
Obliviously dancing, picking flowers of pink, white, red, yellow
Lying amongst the poppies the voice was clear
Sleep beckoned me, but the draw of the call unyielding
Enslaved was I, unaware of the prison which now surrounded
Lost, lost to the Promise Land
Life’s widow, poppies’ bride

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