Dancing in the Wake of Young Minds (Part 1)

By Brian Knippers

(a poet currently incarcerated at ncci-gardner in gardner, massachusetts)

This is the first part of a four part poem about the life, and struggles of Lucia Joyce. I came to know Lucia through a book titled, “Portraits of Paris.” Her pictures in this book still haunt me. As I learned more about this woman, I became fascinated with her. Of course, being incarcerated, I didn’t have a full understanding of how many others had strolled the path of curious wonderment that was Lucia’s life. I feel for her. In the depths of my soul there’s a reserve of emotion set aside for pain. The pain I feel when a person I love gets hurt. Lucia tapped into this dwindling reserve. It’s strange, in that, I never knew her. But, her situation, MH history and the way she was abandoned by such a prominent family leaves me wanting more, wanting real answers. Like so many others, I’m left with endless questions…I’m left guessing. That almost none of her writing survived makes the mystery even more compelling. May her soul rest in peace beyond the raging fires Lucia lit in the hearts of so many who fell in love with her. May you tear down all the columns of barnacles that stand in your way Lucia, and know we miss you, dearly.

she sprung to life
abstract origins
down cardboard hallways
her sobs echoed
this tiny dancer
screaming her first breath
competing with wallowing merchants
peddling awareness
just outside her window
a woman’s tender moment with newborn child
overcome by subconscious introspection
she abandons laughter
a little boy was ordered
what’s this deformed girl child?
holding lucia at arm’s length
she places her upon her breast
staring out an open window
reflecting emptiness back upon her
her soul detaches from lucia
loneliness settles upon her
as dust rests upon basement shelves
a breach of awareness
entirely unaware of her surroundings
she clings to this fragile child
as her mother once fiercely grasped her
before she forgot
all about
little nora
and nora shall now keep in good faith with her system of beliefs
play an award winning role for her family
affection wanes in late day sun
her love’s now anchored beyond this moment
lucia begins drifting
vacuous oceans fill a space before her
nora’s last (true) embrace
wherever lucia lands
she’ll be stranded
utterly self-reliant



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PLOD - Poetry Life or Death

PLOD - Poetry Life or Death

Musings from an incarcerated dyslexic. Poems, Reviews, Essays, Flash Fiction, Short Stories and other random Lit from behind the wall.