Poetry by Shigé Clark

"Let the battered heart rejoice"


free verse

Theme Week: Fairy Tales Retold – 2

The Sleeping Death

She didn’t know what allergies were,
she only wanted
to see the tree
stepmother had planted,
that grew in the meadow
somewhere on their farm
passed the brook on the east side,
but before the fence.

She left stepmother
staring into the bedroom mirror,
babbling to it
as she did every day
since the day father died,
and took the path she knew so well,
down passed the brook,
and on to the meadow.

She met the huntsman on her way,
coming back out of the wood
with his latest kill.
He said she should not wander,
that supper would be coming soon,
as would the dark,
but the apple tree was so grand
against the sunset,
all clumsy spilling out,
dropping its fruit on the grassy floor.

Just a bite,
not even enough to spoil supper,
and then off skipping home.
But as she walked,
her feet grew so tired,
her lips itched, her throat swelled.

She couldn’t breathe,
and as she laid down amidst the meadow,
with the trees
so suddenly dark and menacing
with branches like reaching fingers,
her soft skin faded white as snow
stained by rose-red lips,
and she fell asleep.

– s. Clark

The Coffee Cup/Girl

Picked, and plucked.
So quickly loved.
Filled, and made warm,
All goodness, and flavor,
Sweetness, and energy
Capped off, contained
For your enjoyment
Carried, cradled,
Portable, I’ll go with you.
Held in warm hands,
Enjoyed, appreciated.
Slowly emptied,
Slowly colder,
Until nothing is left
But emptiness,
And clinging drips
Of what once was.
Fills you up,
Makes you happy,
Helps you move.
Done now,
Another later,
When you need it.
The hollow shell,
Used up,
Is discarded.

– s. Clark

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