Wake predawn to the song of the handmaiden’s muse,
Rise in the pitch of black coffee and write, till the
Tufted titmouse announces the rising Sun,
“tsee-day-day-day…tsee-day-day-day” calling through
Grey skies painted in scarlet, yellow, brown,
and orange leaves luffing, luff upon luff, going
Nowhere, trim the sails, seek a starboard tack,
We are in irons. Data is lost.
Leaves fall into wet stacks, wind calling
“Come back, come back.” Carolina Wren sings
“tea kettle, tea kettle” as I race to the door,
Splashing coffee over the rim, in the
Threshold, stretching for the umbrella, my
Data lost at sea, adrift. Nevermore…
Into the car, away I fly, swept by the wind.
Sold off to a man forty years senior
Wasted her hymen so, that none would have
Her. Running and running She settled at last,
Changing her name to Rosalind and dwelling there in a
Home at the edge of the wood, where she
Befriended Celia and took lessons on
Restraint from Marianne, but her boldness
Could not be muffled. “Freud can screw himself,”
She howled. “I will shake my fist into
The coming of the storm, and all rage
Against me, I will stand and be hated!”
Into the room that Virginia left me,
I am Rosalind’s Sancho Panza, I take
The beating from the entire village
To sing praises of her magniloquence.
Her chief occupation was quilting an
Overcoat for the return of the last
Barbarian. Something had to be done
To fight the cold brought on through malfeasance.
She was no Ahab, no goat footed piper,
However, while searching for the patterns
She set off the alarm and in a flash
Of artistic sadism she fell for
Tomboy foolery and almost drowned
in a deep well of Joyce’s allusions.
Then her Nikki sent her a Rose of the
Sweetest inspiration and she scraped
Herself off the floor and aspired to
Joan of Arc, no longer would she fear
Death by Fire or Ice.
With a hammer and a nail, She is pounding
Out comfort for unknowing, just being.
From Nowhere Ville, She, the Rainbow warrior,
Wills to will, willfully validating
Her war against Saturn’s sickle cycle.
She culls from Carson and eats O’Conner’s flan.
She went down to Florida and played
Her accordion at Zora’s unmarked grave.
She embraces the thorns of Emily’s Rose.
She is eating Welty’s Golden Apples
All the while, wondering while wandering
Could I be still and wait by the side of the road?
She is dancing to the sound of spheres,
She is marching with the band, huffing and
Chugging Her way to eternity.