A Retelling of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant
Hope slicing snow brings back
a late March petal
and a big, big smile flushed full
in the darkening puddle of Boy’s eyes.
Softness loosens itself
among two hearts holding tight,
hands folded light.
Boy raises his plump face.
He wants that blooming cherry-pink blossom
just there above the highest leaves.
Not one for you, but a bucket full.
For these brief moments
it’s worth it to find a way
through foul food debris,
to bear gunshots and
watch the bursting fireflies.
Sometimes heavy marvels upheave
for weeks without sleep.
But daily he waits
under his favorite cherry tree
to grasp the last warmth of late autumn
slipping from an already darkening sun.
One day, Boy doesn’t come.
He doesn’t come the next day
or the day after or the day after that.
But Giant is patient.
Until one fired bullet pierced his chest
and the bullet rain followed.
ripped in choking anguish
overflown conscious fear.
Is it because he forgot to bring the milk to Boy?
Is it because he enjoys too much victory in freeze tag?”
The creatures face contorts with terror and lies,
pain he had hoped to understand,
of the family who bore him.
He knows Boy is different, and
his fading consciousness brings
a hold on one last hope.
Boy feels too the bullet ice-cold
abysmal pain churning, mingling,
shaking still before that
little hill of spotless white snow
too scared to see what’s there
after he escapes from the
tight attic window.
At once, a shimmered
glass of cherry blossom petals
start to rot piece by piece
held by Giant’s hand,
let go for the last destination
sealing the unspeakable truth
dying grey breaking aureole in the sky
to engrave the story
between Giant and Boy.