Straw Flowers

Straw Flowers
"Straw Flowers" by L. Folk

Sunday, September 21, 2014

To the Underworld and Back, a Poem


There is a schism in a cliff in Maine
Where I slipped down through the moss
And knelt in the sand of the river bank

A gilded snake coiled my head, a crown
A carried cloak ruffled my ears
Then turned to wings.

I flew above the firs, I flew
Knowing how to fly, I flew.

I dove, knowing how to dive
And emerged among the selkie women
Lounging without a care on rocks

Picking at Damariscotta oysters
Licking salted pearls, humming
And pruning till nightfall.

At the shore, my father’s form flickered
As the morning fog dusted the cove
He was horse.  He was man.

He was horse again.

I grabbed his mane and hoisted myself
Upon his back and rode out
Remembering, how he carried me

(When I was far too old for carrying)

On his shoulders, through the crowds
Over the Jersey boardwalk,
My useless feet tucked under his arms.

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