Angel of Edges

by Rondalyn Whitney


Fascinated with edges Bobby bends from the waist,
places his face close to the carpet
            waves with overwhelmed exuberance at surreptitious discoveries
            squeals at the sighting of now exposed once secret seams,
  unrevealed breaks in the fabric floor
  carpet abutting carpet
  edges tugged and stapled taut together
  edges so unified to the unknowing
  edges so carefully
  clandestinely edged yet found by this angel who lingers, pleased,
  greeting his quarry with dancing fingers.

He does not walk past walkways
carefully trimmed, grassy areas trued up to squares of concrete.
He is mesmerized by flattened folded cardboard boxes that are left to lean against a wall.
He bows before door jambs, spellbound, reverent.

Freckled, hair an explosion of red
like the sun at the border of evening
this angel creeps into the crack of night
and brings day
stands at the crescendo of darkness and light, a conductor,
gesticulating until times blur, grow inaudibly indistinct.

He understands infinity
that there is a vast expanse between all boundaries the
not over
  not under
    but the ON
      of each precipice.

Today, incarnate,
he plays in this Center for disorders
children related by the whirling, dervish mannerisms
of autism.

Today, I help him attempt ascension
stand near as he guides his mortal legs
onto, then through
the round hollow opening of a tire swing
touching each yet-to-be-revealed edge
in order to break free of earth into air –
I throw a small ball to him.
He catches, then pulls the sphere close to the corner of his eye.
A peripheral gaze is all he can bear
this one form in his arms
           divinely edgeless –

Rondalyn Whitney is a poet, writer, occupational therapist, and researcher. Her writing narrates the lived experience of defiant healing. She writes across a broad range of genres from scholarly journals to professional texts, and creative works. Her poem “Amazing Grace” appears in the anthology The Healer’s Burden; her essay “Is This The Wife” in Intima, and “Time is a Fluid” in The Examined Life Journal. She holds an advanced certificate in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University. This poem is from her series of “Angels”.