The Woman Who Could Not Remember

Winter, pale and fat, presses himself against me,
insistent and stupid, dead oak leaves spilling
from his windy lips.

"Darling," I hear my voice confabulate. My memory
fell through the ice of his pride six years ago and hasn't been seen since.
So I make shit up:

"I missed you," and such fantastic idiocy. I send
weevils into his head to hunt for what went before,
and find my affair with his brother, Fall, and his 
first love turned bitter enemy and destroyer, Spring. 

She and I conspire by telepathy, though I forget afterwards. 

Can he hear the cicadas inside my bones, feel the
mosquito pond of my stilled airless blood?
My benefactor, the Sun, waits for him to subside and die

So that we can be together.

But this time the infuriating fool has the vitality of the nearly-expired,
and as he enters me, the shock of cold sends cracks 
from toes to skull and back again, I am riven
by lost and desperate ice-beaked birds who need me to the point of misery.

Secretly, as he bucks and the wind rises,
I receive the tiny crocus blooms his destroyer sends me
to help me hold on, to fashion together into a time,

Mine, when I will strangle him with rose vines,
sway to my feet as stalks of wheat, heavy as viburnum,
entirely forgetful and ascendant. 

"That's right," I coo, opening myself willingly now,
as a grave does, doing what it was born to do, 
becoming solid and sun-warmed, anticipating lilies.

For "take the weather with you" at Toads. Day #5 of Napo Nap Time. Greetings from the (still!) frozen wastes of the north.



hedgewitch said…
This stark tale of seasonal lust, travail and comeuppance is made so lush by your personalization of the imagery, full of your trademark twists of sarcasm and wit, yet also of your most delicate verbal brushstrokes colored by the promise of Life which needs no prompting to recur. You are on SUCH a roll, lately, Shay--this one just knocks my socks off, and not an unnecessary word anywhere. I especially am dumbfounded by the passage which begins with "Can he hear the cicadas inside my bones.." and ends with "riven/by lost and desperate ice-beaked birds who need me to the point of misery." YEESH! What a poem, girl.
Kerry O'Connor said…
Your metaphor is bravely wrought and most disquietening. I am glad you did not hold back on the details, though they gave me cold shivers. Old Man Winter's violation of summer speaks not only of the rape of global weather patterns by industrialisation gone berserk but also of violence against women. Her sense of doom coupled with the seeding of crocuses tells quite a tale of victory over circumstance.
annell4 said…
Your poem has everything or at least a full range of emotions. A" page turner" read.
Anonymous said…
I love the intertwining that takes place in this conversation, the to and fro of the dance.Vitality of the near expired and sending weevils made me guffaw.Fabulous stuff as always.
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Oh my goodness. I pack up my tent and silently steal away. This is so outrageously good! Outstanding.
Ellecee said…
The is so strong and magnificent that it leaves me unable to find the adjectives I want to describe it. Hopefully these suffice,,,
Anonymous said…
Holy shit and may I prostrate myself at your altar?

okay, I can't even begin to comment on this, I've been sitting with this open on my laptop all day - and as a gardener by profession for over twenty years, and as an eco-tree-hugging hippie terrorist, all I can say is - you have completely, passionately, intensely in essence, worded this with the spirit of Mother Nature, her wise crone ways, the knowledge of wounded skin in the birthing of the young waif, and the middle aged insouciance of knowing of the inevitable triumph of Gaia.

This not only totally kicks ass Shay, but is quintessentially absolute, dizzying perfection. Consider me humble. An impoverished beggar. I know not what I know, nor of the tongues to translate such language.
brudberg said…
What a wonderful personification of the winter and the weather... you better be careful around such intimidating weather until spring grows strong enough.
brudberg said…
Saw you quoting Neko Case... the soundtrack for your poem could be Marais la Nuit maybe...
I think the witches of the world need to add this poem to their stories of the shifting seasons!
Maude Lynn said…
This is disturbing and beautiful. Anger and power and imagery that stuns. Holy Hell, this is amazing.
Susie Clevenger said…
We seem besieged by a season of old men raping, pillaging life. Every time I read your work, I am impressed with your story telling.