Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Widow Maker

You liked to visit when I was the low tide
wench, the one with the thin-lipped man
whose bed I made every day, whose dinner
I prepared, then the eventual loss of life.
After the grave was filled, you went
I remarried and you returned.
You would stand on Signal Hill waving
your arms at me with the miserable sod,
as we picnicked in the dank cove.
Once I swore I saw you in the window,
your lust-filled face gazing at me
driving him
the way he liked, then the coughing cigarette
kiss that promised another grave.
You meant to call that time.
You said before you’d look me up
when the whistle of the kettle calls
and a man, third time's the charm,
sits in his comfortable chair - dogs
and shoes scattered beneath. You liked the trust
I carried with the sheets –
a quick slap against the cool Atlantic air.
But our past is a smooth stone for skipping
across the distance. You like it that way.
You have made it your home,
two steps behind
the closed doors of my little world.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Visiting Priest

There's a sly fox loose in the garden.
Mother has tried to stamp the life
out of his red pelt.
She has tried poison and steel traps,
those goblin-mouths,
but he has tricked his way into living.
I am told his smile could will a woman
to stone.
I am told he licks the cherrywood bark
and his hunger grows
for the berries we pick in spring,
plump black dolls
kissing up the sun.
I imagine he is the sparkling sea -
the saltwater son.
I imagine he is lean and quick -
and so very clever.
The visiting priest warns us
about men who take animal form -
typical predators: wolves,
badgers, minks, and the slick-skinned fox.
Mother wrings her hands over this.
But I look closer on spring evenings,
when the moon is very high
and the luminous water pools
reflect some lucid beauty.
In the stillness, I hear it:
the hushed sound of fur and tremor,
whispering to me.
Down below, the air is cold
and my tracks,
lost in the waist-deep thicket.


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