Friday, November 25, 2011


Daphne, pregnant and cursed to silence
by the relentless sun-god of past summer
wandered into a winter grove

where gray-brown naked figures struggled
against encroaching cold, clawed weightless light
from the pale sky with black boughs.

They seemed barren, skeletal. Yet at each twig's tip
a fleshy swelling, packed with soft tissues
crumpled, folded tight as a baby's fist

and sheathed in tough translucent scales. Every
fingertip was pregnant with flowers and leaves
of the coming spring. Daphne's fingers

pregnant with words she dared not speak, swelled.
The nails burst, bled. Secrets unfolded
from the ragged fissures, lifting her arms

into the sky, sinking her feet
deep, deep into earth. Mute, Daphne wrote
evidence of Apollo's crime on every leaf

but no-one read them. A hundred books,
a thousand books, a thousand women
in a thousand groves watch as their testament

is gathered back to the blind earth.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

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