The Tower

by Stephen Paden

the Tower Dawn was far from view
but I knew that it was there
a goal, or maybe an obsession
in a cloudy, minds-eye stare

for miles I walked until I saw
the gleaming, silver spire
in me it set there something loose
like rivers made of fire

the air around my body lessened
as I began to breathe
the scents of morning roses
that lay dead below my feet—

began to swirl around my head
like crimson winds of love
that blocked my view of tumorous clouds
that lingered high above

globes of stinging teardrops fell
the clouds had had their fill
now shared their sorrow on my face
where sorrow lived there still

the air was thick as I drew near
the silver spire of dawn
my breath as thin as my own soul
but still I carried on

and then I reached a single door
that led into the tower
and on its face, engraved with care
a single, crimson flower

no words above the wooden door
no evidence of sin
my heart began to pound my chest
like hammers from within

a voice broke through the silence then
and bellowed, “Enter here,
if you know love and she requites,
you have nothing to fear.”

My fingers touched the crimson rose
upon that wooden grain
but nothing felt I from the rose
that bade me try again

Cautiously I turned around
and made my way back home
throughout this desert once again
my empty heart would roam

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