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Black Widow Glad as I was to see the wasp squirm in the web, shields aquiver, lance of its ass lowered, I was not prepared for her glittering approach. Fiddle of her body en pointe, unmistakable mark of Cain seared this ordinary noon beside the mailbox. Barearmed, in cutoffs, dividing coreopsis, aligning beanrows, I never imagined stealth strung like so much light catching fire. Resume the clutched breath, thunderstruck. Hourglass spills blood’s sudden knowing. Time to overturn bucket and stacked stone, poke blankets, brittle papers in attic and shed, awaken the dust of my shoes, blithe procrastinations. Time to gather strands held in death’s white tooth dancing just out of view, to rattle the earth as I pass through.
Once a Rose
Furry from stem to bud, roselike shrub on the bank of the Garonne snags the airborne fluff I might name milkweed at home, an ocean away— furs of its own volition, both soft and prickly as the dance we do, stiffnecked, not bowing or scraping to the caller’s allemande, for we would rather be wallflowers than shed our thorns, rather be solitary wisps adrift on river wind than the crimson profusion we once were, this haloed floribunda, an aching invitation.
Copyright 2021 Linda Parsons
Linda Parsons is the poetry editor for Madville Publishing. Her many
collections of poetry include Candescent (Iris Press, 2019).