Christopher Soden — “Redemption”

Consider the discovery
of a green wool stocking,
untying it to find a small
jar of aromatic salve,
laced with exotic spices
for weary temples,

or Aberdeen Heather Soap
for discouragement,
or a bottled blizzard
for dwindling faith.
Consider the burden
of hours lifted, past
mistakes evaporating
like steam.

A ceramic elephant falls
and shatters to reveal
sticky raw brown opium,
or seeds of moonflowers,
or redeemable passage
on the Orient Express.

A voice you can’t identify
on your message service
confesses, I had a dream
of flight…Mama has kissed
you goodnight and you wake
to discover a naked boy
weeping, in the nursery.

He comes from a place unknown
to you: second star to the right,
and straight on till morning.
You will help him reconcile
to his shadow, and he will
guide you in the discipline
of intuition and loft.

You are sooty and daft
and remarkable. You belong
to no one. Listen. Big Ben
is counting down to the end
of your sorrow. Only just this
moment comes the changing hour,
one-two-three…

The nursery window gapes.
The skyline of London awaits.
Your jig shakes loose
like a wet schnauzer.
You were not made to fall.
You can fly. You can fly.
You can fly.


Christopher Soden received his MFA in Poetry from Vermont College in January 2005. His collection Closer was released by QueerMojo in June 2011. He received Full Fellowship to Lambda Literary’s Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices. Other honors: Distinguished Poets of Dallas, PSA’s Poetry in Motion, Founding Member, President and President Emeritus of The Dallas Poets Community. Publishing credits include: Rattle, Cortland Review, G & L Review, Glitterwolf, Texas Observer, Off the Rocks, James White Review.