Chambermaids scurrying at the arrival of men.
They are taught to catch husbands, like these men

catch fish. To feed. To cut off heads of sea monsters.
To spread seed. The goddess creates the olive tree.

Peace. Cut to pieces, the marriage decree. Soiled
sheets. Plant wide. Plant deep. In her season,

she blooms. Her own speed. Time is a flowing
thing. Creased foreheads when daughters are

missing. A jewel in a crown. Missing. An
uprooted fig tree. Missing. Winter. Missing

branches. No way to track your roots. A
river carries an unanswered letter, making

a multitude of stops. Rests. A garden of her
own making. An afternoon loll down the

hill. A bump. She even named it. She
let supple fruits leak juice onto velvet green

carpets rolled out on moving day. A dirt spot
on a tired cheek. Apologetic eyes. She’s

come home. Fatherless. Penniless. She
only chases sunlight now. There is no

glint off of a tin soldier’s button more
glamorous than dawn once the storm has passed.

Published by Jennifer Patino


7 thoughts on “Olive

  1. Wow. So, so much — everything — in this river of a poem. The “missing” three times is chilling, and distinctly talismanic.

    Liked by 2 people

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