What does it mean?

How does a poem arrive? Develop? And what does the string of words -- placed this way and that --- mean, anyway?

I don’t know. Again and again, I don’t know.

And sometimes, even as the author, I don’t know what a poem means. Often the tone, the mood, is more important than the meaning. And sometimes meaning surfaces long after the pen rests and the page turns.

I wrote this poem over a year ago, but it is only now — as I experience friends and family in the throes of pain – that I understand what's been said.

Wounds that Bind
for Cindi

The hand that feeds the fire has no recipe.
You don't know what you're fighting so you
fan out      like a surgeon, mend endlessly,
step across hard shadows to stitch the awkward girl
in the corner.

Awake for days, walking through meals,
the moon births new     chaos
You hear lullabies.
You, baby flame, extract conscience
but mandate sedation
You know the price of wide awake.