I burned her
in the flames at Hallowtide. The vulnerable self, the puppet
of which I lost control.
And now at dawn
pale as the willow stripped
for craft by carver or weaver, she wanders back
undulating in the gray light,
upheld by strings of rain.
Her hand motions for me to come;
her head nods with diminutive grace.
The leaves scattered beneath her
like wet shavings. Ashes dowsed by tears
that won't allow the leniency
to love, forgive or trust --
die on the eve of the dead
or any forthcoming day. She propels an after life
of her own._____________________________________________________
Hallowtide, Samhain, Hallowseve/Halloween or whatever you wish to call the end of October into early November, has both spiritual connections to Pagan and Christian faiths. During the Celtic celebration of Samhain, people gathered around a village or tribal fire. This was the night when the veil between the living and the dead was lifted and the borders between both worlds opened. It was also a time to throw emblematic representations of your sin, illness, grief, weakness, sorrow etc. into the flames. It was a way of absolving your soul/heart of those things you saw as impurities or hindrances to your functioning life. And these emblematic things would often be dolls constructed of straw and string or figures of carved wood or molded clay, (often called "poppets"). Here I have used the puppet or marionette to represent this woman's weakness or what she sees as her weakness. And that is being too vulnerable to love again, trust or forgive after something happened. And that "something" is left open to interpretation. But she wishes to rid herself of this perceived fault. Yet, the human spirit is not meant to become hardened, numb or totally aloof and isolated. The human condition cries out for emotion, compassion, vulnerability; and therefore, it does not die, it lives on and seeks its owner who has tried to dispossess it. And I realize that in life there are people and circumstances where the soul hardens and hates after being bruised/abused and does not recover. But in this poem, the speaker is haunted by that part of herself she tried to deny and disperse into the night air and solemn fire.