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Menolly:
Love Song to a Dragonsinger

a song-fragment by Chris Wayan, 1977, found in a dream-journal and finished 20 years later

Menolly is a composer whose story is told in Anne McCaffrey's books Dragonsong and Dragonsinger; she figures prominently in the The White Dragon too. A musical prodigy born in a hardscrabble know-nothing town--and family. Before she escapes, they've crippled not just her hand but her expectations. She's learned to think small. Stretching both sorts of scar tissue takes more than patience and will. It hurts.

Born in suburbia, I followed her role-model: got out, tried to undo the damage... but it's not so easy. You rub lotion into the scars, and stretch them in pain.

"Your body is the scar of your mind"
       -- Yoko Ono

Menolly the singer haunted me:
Mozart-girl in a foul fish town.
Her yellow family's secret slime
Scarring her hand, her song.

Shy and wild and guilty
Living alone like me.
Am I bad? Am I bad?
Run and hide, whipped prodigy!

Then I grew up and ran away.
Will I heal? The scar won't stretch.
The fear will never fade. Just etch.
Menolly, I fell where you ran.

You flattened into juvenile pages
A dragonback silhouette pasted on sky.

My claw-hands fused, and grew in,
My scars not so easily salved away:
A Thread-scored ruin.

I never finished much.
Too hard to limp through.
Unfinished this song,
This song to you:

"As you Turn away you fling
song like fingers.
Strums my skin.
As you Turn, shaking shone
Hair like Thread
that scores my bone..."
Winds of memory pluck that scar:
My heart's the hole in life's gitar.

FOOTNOTE

Yes, I can spell guitar. The "gitar" is a Pernese descendant of that instrument, which Menolly plays. But names don't matter--guitar or lute or violin, the soundbox is what matters. For like a human heart, it won't work sealed up. Hearts and gitars have to be opened, and that can hurt. But you must. The hole in the heart's for resonance.



LISTS AND LINKS: healing from abuse - a Pernese dream: Dragon Banners - genius and giftedness - music - instruments - poems

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