Friday, September 20, 2013

When Hester Was First Conceived

I find myself dreaming about stories, as of old…

                                                        Nathaniel Hawthorne
You were in the Custom  House

calculating the cost of things

when Autumn struck your eye

with her amber light

and tongue with her taste of cider.


Your mind wandered along the wayside

where feather grass and wild berries sprawled

over a split-rail fence. Where carrot blossoms

held the breath captive with their intricate weave

and dark bloodspot. Blood -- legends say

a queen spilled from pricking her finger

on the needle while tatting lace. But you saw

something different. A scarlet flourish begun

on cloth where a woman stitched her shame


and shadowed the door of her hut

with the shape of an adulteress

shifting soon to a mother --  who listened

as her child turned in a cradle

facing the sea.



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