Friday, February 5, 2016
The men were burning a field near home.
The fire crawled across the grass.
She saw it whirl.
A limbless animal, from empty spaces,
ghostlike it came out.
Would it stop before it touched her?
They told her:
these dusty months of midsummer,
it raced from everywhere;
it whirled in the innocent woods,
it threatened the blossoms.
She shivered alone;
hiding her eyes in her palms,
she inhabited the shadows.
That night, huddled in her bed,
she drew the covers to her nose.
From the woods echoed the shrillest cries!
She rallied the nymphs to defend the blossoms.
Then she, the dark-eyed peeress,
with whom the nymphs crusaded
gently, gently over the fields,
fell to a troubled sleep.
Next morning with a start she awoke
and raised herself above the window sill.
The limbless ghost had left her untouched
and had gone somewhere away.
O come back, so I can watch!
If he came back,
she could know where he lurked.
And dare she for an instant test
if, perhaps, his touch was good?