Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


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MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Tuesday, September 27, 2011

LONG BLACK VEIL

from MAGPIE TALES
  


Long Black Veil

                             “She walks these hills in a long black veil,
                               visits my grave while the night winds wail...”


She could never herself weep
above any man’s grave for so many 
bad nights,  unmindful of hailstones  
and wind wailings.  Where’s the woman

who would? Still, she wonders who
wrote this song, who set it roaming.  
She’s glad to be done with her own 
bad nights drawing her out

where the  wind can whip
even the slightest of lacy threads
wild at the edge of a shawl.  She 
had thought it was flesh to flesh

she wanted, long as the nights lasted.
That was before she pulled back
from the heat of him seeking her own
and saw limbs thrashing outside 

like nothing that she could recall
ever hearing a woman sing.
No wailing romance in that vision,
only the locust leaves hammered

by lightning to quicksilver
tongue-shapes that silenced her.
How dare a woman walk out
into such revelation, much less

set it throbbing to music 
that’s even now winding its song round her, 
length after length of it, her hand
reaching out for the door handle?


7 comments:

Reflections said...

Ah, yes... how the veil can keep us hidden from others, yet this reminder is wonderfully shared... that it too, keeps the world beyond our own view.

Ann Grenier said...

A beautiful poem, Kathryn. Love the tension, play on words,limbs thrashing and quick silvered tongue shapes. A sensual response to the Magpie.

Kathy Bischoping said...

I'm glad to be reminded of that song and see it become part of the story. The locust leaves are my favourite of its images.

BornStoryteller said...

Lovely piece

Stuart
Tale Spinning
The Rain of Tears

Tess Kincaid said...

Oh, I do hope she throws open that door...gorgeous write, Kay...

Helen said...

Beautiful Magpie!

ds said...

Wow. Love the quicksilver tongues, the revelation.
Fabulous poem. Thank you.