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.