Tokoyee’s Regret

Yosemite Mountains Separated by Centuries 
By John P. DeGrazio 
Yosemite-Moonrise-YExplore-DeGrazio-Nov14
Autumn Moonrise Over Half Dome by John P. DeGrazio

Have you ever felt the pain of reaching for something so close to you, yet it remained just out of touch? A few years ago, I wrote a poem called “Tokoyee’s Regret”. Citing the legend of Tissiack, I wrote it from the perspective of her husband, Tokoyee after they were frozen in time for their misdeeds.

Yesterday, our group was atop Yosemite Point, and I gazed out at North Dome.  I noticed how closely it sits to Half Dome but pondered how far away it truly is. As I studied the tears streaking down the face of Tissiack, it conjured memories of my poem and the lament Tokoyee must feel every day.  This moonrise unfolded on my trip out of the valley so it seemed an appropriate time to reintroduce my story.

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Separated by Centuries, North Dome and Half Dome by John P. DeGrazio

Tokoyee’s Regret

O crying woman, what have we done?
This hurt we share is deeper than the lake that caused our pain.
My great strength has left me, and I lay unmoved
Beneath that stone wall, is a warm heart that once held me
I know not if it still beats, or has gone forever cold.
We shared a heat that made us whole
Our lightning turned to fire, and in a moment, we were nothing
Punished for our madness.
I sit frozen with a hole in my heart as great as this valley,
and helplessly watch as you are trampled endlessly.
The great moon has awakened me as I fight to end this curse
I burn to hold you tight and feel your warm skin
To look into those pale lifeless eyes once more and stroke your sun burnt cheek
To wipe away the tears that fall endlessly and fill the river below.

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