Remind me: my bed is empty,
my graying hair pinned up
and tumbling from a starfish clip
where once a waterfall by Crivelli flowed
over the white shoulders of Sparta.
I do not quarrel with my warring children.
Their bad marriages are their own affairs.
I sit on the rocks and watch the waves,
my toes now horny as a tortoise’s.
That night a storm came off the sea.
I saw St. Elmo’s fire electrify the spars
and a bluish current quivered on my skin.
I studied my egg-shaped oval in the glass,
breath like a wing beat in my throat,
wind tearing white curtains, my flesh,
and feathers on my bed in flight.
I am an old woman writing poetry.
I never wanted intimacy with goddesses
or gods, never wanted their dangerous progeny.
I only dreamt of passion, possession,
surrendering to the torque of human love.
Credit note: Previously published in Agni 77 and reproduced here by permission of the author.
Tim says: I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to interview the wonderful American poet Melissa Green, whose memoir The Linen Way has recently been published by Rosa Mira Books. This poem, so good in itself, is a little taste of what awaits in the interview!
The Tuesday Poem: Is Thoughts of the Father by Philip Salom, a fine Australian poet whose work I’ve recently encountered in the course of co-editing The Stars Like Sand.