Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Girl With The Arrow Through Her Head

Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry;
'Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy'

I am the girl with the arrow through her head;
people treat me like some sort of cartoon,
a joke,
they think it's a get-up.

I can't wear hats,
or walk down the street without my neighbors Bob and John
telling me I should have ducked
and then laughing like dickheads.

Dear Excedrin,
I write,
I love your product.
Thank you for making it.
They send me coupons, which pleases me,
and I use them immediately.

I was Custer's girl.
I was there when he died;
it was awful.
He was blond, and brave, and beautiful.
I tried to stop them from desecrating him, 
but the Indian women tossed me aside like a dandelion flower
and I had to walk home.

That was in 1876.
I was twenty.
I don't know why I don't die;
maybe the arrow changed me in some way I can't account for.
I have dreams that manifest in my life the next day.
I dream that I am a girl with an arrow through her head,
and that Bob and John find me endlessly hilarious.
Then I am,
and they do.

I have to sleep on my back
because of the arrow.
I lie down in my yard at night and look at the stars.
They turn,
and I turn,
which makes the arrow turn, too, 
and I feel just like a new clock, right on the money every time.

Then I remember--
Autie is dead,
and I am a girl with an arrow through her head.
Tonight I will dream of eating a pomegranate,
and then an orange.
I will turn them in my hands,
and they will turn me with them;
something will be different,
and when I wake up, it will all happen as I dreamed it--

The pomegranate will heal my heart,
and the orange will contain endless sections, juicy and sweet.
Bob and John will not be home when I walk by;
the arrow will fall out,
and I will be free.

quoted lines at the top are from "The Goblin Market" by Christina Rossetti.

for the Real Toads birthday in December--Christina Rossetti. 


TexWisGirl said...

you 'see' things (and make us see them, too) like no one i've ever 'met'. :)

HermanTurnip said...

Wow. Shock, humor, epiphanies; this piece had it all. I can picture someone like del Toro turning this into a movie (or at least a short).

Cloudia said...

Free? Not you Shay. You are in thrall to words.

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

Ella said...

Your arrow feels like the crutch of time. We all are indebted to it~
Remembering the sweet sections makes me smile~ I think I know Bob n' John ;D (Bob Seger and John Denver)
How odd we both did go to the plains?! I love your story like poems-they transcend time! YOU do grow a lovely word garden~

Hannah said...

I'd like a ticket to the inside of your mind...

So many sections I love but if I had to pick a favorite it would be:

"the Indian women tossed me aside like a dandelion flower
and I had to walk home."

And I love how vivid your fruit section of this poem is...I could nearly see the juice running.

Great read,'re on fire blossom. :)

Sioux said...

Such varied voices come from your pen, Shay.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh my goodness. When you write, you never run out of words. When I read, there are simply no words good enough.

Joanna Jenkins said...

OMGosh, Shay... this is fabulous.
"...telling me I should have ducked..." I love how your mind works.
xo jj

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is so extraordinarily imaginative, Shay. I don't know why but this section really appeals to me:

I have to sleep on my back
because of the arrow.
I lie down in my yard at night and look at the stars.
They turn,
and I turn,
which makes the arrow turn, too

So much seems possible within these lines; I read them as a metaphor for life. I think we collect a lot of arrows in the course of living, some in the head, some in the heart, some in the limbs...

Björn said...

Captivating read. Dark and sad, riding on dark wings of history. Yet some awesome dark humor.. Indeed it's hard to wear a hat with an arrow through your head

Anonymous said...

she makes her dreams real. how many of us can do that? then again, maybe most of us do - we just dream poorly.

Sumana Roy said...

love the storyline and details...

hedgewitch said...

Vivid and surreal, what seems to be a dream becomes real, what seems real becomes a history lesson,tossed away, and the goblin fruit are, as always, most delicious of all, in a place where time turns on an arrow sundial and pretty much everything else becomes irrelevant. Pain is both defining and absolving here, Shay--excellent transmutation of Rossetti's penchant for writing out what makes memory pierce.

The Sentinel said...

And yet, when you sleep, only the arrow sings to you.

G-Man said...

Didn't Steve Martin start out with an arrow through his head?

But he's not near as eloquent as you!

Margaret said...

I was intrigued by the same lines as Kerry - (one to many likes? in that last line, though? - and I feel just like…

Each stanza is a bit different approach - indignant, practical, thankful, reminiscent, questioning, explanatory, dreamer, upbeat.

…and everyone - creative.

Lynn said...


Lydia said...

I want to grab the sleeves of everyone I know and say "Read this! I know her (sort of a lie, but...) and this is just one example of her brilliance!" They would ask me where you are from. I would answer, "A place none of us has even heard of."

Mama Zen said...

This is so cool and trippy. Love this, girl!