Death Among the Apples

by Oonah V. Joslin


Palest and purest
bloom her scent
aroused
my garden and my joy.
I, her toy to be discarded.

The cord is cut.
This is what barren means.

I write,
nurture in white
her name perennial in every flower
undying.
The flood that took her
waters all my crying.

* * *

Wherein you refused most others
you accepted me.

In this,
in every way you were
— remarkable —
for such a short time
it was tantalizing.

Selfish together
sister to
my ghastly capacity
for coldness.
Afraid of much yet resolute,
we lost each other at last.
You slipped beyond my reach within my grasp
Blown... outside the loop of time.

I should have liked to see you every day
for hours.

I too shall call this stricture
death among the apples now
forever.

* * *

Other skins
wore her
inside,
out.
Never looking in a mirror
for fear of both,
she poured into our arms,
hung
delicate, so delicately draped within,
fragile against the shiver of rain, shudder of wind,
against the flow.
She should have liked a fiery dress of yellow
frivolous
to wear in the evening

withdrawing.

Our pelts offered minimal protection;
afforded scant hiding from harsh gaze
we knew,
yet wore her soul,
free as a mantle,
heavy as stones in our pockets
till the end.

* * *

I brought the tray as usual
knocked on her door,
waited,
so nearly no one.

Sometimes she’d call,
with aristocratic eyes direct the tray
to its destination.

There was no answer this time.
Perhaps she was in
full flow.
I left the tray,
knocked again,
walked away.

Later as they looked for her,
everyone wanted to know
when was the last time
anyone saw her.
And so, I told the truth of it for me.

The last time I saw
Virginia Woolf
I didn’t
see her at all.


Copyright © 2013 by Oonah V. Joslin

Proceed to Challenge 554...

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