Friday, January 3, 2014

Month of poetry #2 - Twelve

When last strips of daylight
fell bright across her boredom
she rose in clockwork hope;
he creaked weary cogs of assent.

Worried again at one stray pillowfeather
as excitement rustled silks of her
skirts out the door. To dumb planks:
The lake's not on fire - as every night.

Underground with sisters twelve to
shred manic soles; hunters above
looked for what creature works
a creaking copse of trees from below.

Enough - and he rose to axe out
an elderly cape and hide from sight.
To the night, after her red-hot feet
despite velvet concern of the dog's eyebrows.

He waited to shame them, but frail curls
of sound - obviously a major malfunction
of cloak - daggered his eyes to their beds:
twelve sisters danced, minus one.

Older with waiting, she had bleached.
Half-starts shook the air out of him:
I wasn't sure - had to choose - but still I knew -
One of her hands confirmed the years,
two of her hands made him seen.

I was young - so I waited.
She has her dancing, her ten sisters -
Laid dormant in undisturbed frost,
she cracked her lips, touched his cape and saw.
Your wife will never know.

This poem includes phrases suggested last night by:

@ernmalleyscat: the dog's eyebrows
@notunimportant: obviously a major malfunction
@spikelynch: the lake's not on fire
@timsterne: your wife will never find out
@attentive: a creaking copse of trees

I've been reading a lot of fairy tales lately, and this poem is kindof based on both the old tale of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and Sara Maitland's re-writing of it in The Gossip from the Forest: The Tangled Roots of Our Forests and Fairy-Tales. You know, kindof.

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