Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rapunzel's Daughter

The daughter of Rapunzel learned to sing
sweetly from her mother, to enrich her sound
with radishes, rose hips and salad greens. For years, 
she played the harp and remained a happy child
until suddenly turning silent.
On the day she lost her voice,
the crone’s raven landed near the stream
clutching a dragonfly in his beak.
Then he flew away with the insect
shimmering like a crystal key,
leaving the blonde girl to ripple in water
and trade her bright self for a sullen shadow.
Now she twirls limp tendrils of hair
and speaks one word answers,
same tone, same size and all stored up
as if they were lentils inside a glass tower.
I remember when her tongue
was a leaf of ruby lettuce
seasoned with awe,  and the garden
waited to serve her like a muse
draped  in sheer light and flowering plants.
But the day she found that darkened mood,
its winged echo fell behind her ribs
and was left flapping sorrow
against a small trellis of bone.
At night it grew deeper --and still does
as she turns in her sleep
feeling the tense grip of bird and moon.

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