Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter.
Bear sons. Bind roses on cloth
with the needle’s thread. Braid
and unbraid hair. Look good by the light
of window or hearth-- but say nothing
of the forest.
Open a prayer book, sit
and pretend to read when legs
want to leap as those of a doe
defying steep hill and stone chasm,
when the soul needs to shift
molding the shape of her grace
into something wild, furtive.
by keys and clocks, psalms or spindle,
when you know I was raised by the crone,
an orphan she found
under fir trees where the deer
and wood pigeons fled.
when you said you didn’t care
but simply wanted a fair bride
to steal your breath, to share meals
sweetened with wine and fruit.
A maiden’s shy smile.
when you know I ‘m more hoof than heel
growing cold within these walls -- wanting
my pelt of fur, and not shelter
that will lay your lady to rest
in her own sheet of skin?
How can you ask this of me?
I weep --
with yet a knife to clean
and a tray of apples.