by Rachael Jennings
Cloth strands tangle in her branches, tied by frost-hardened fingers;
the hawthorn, untouched by rot, will never let go of what they
finally could: not in the crumbling of the burren itself, not in the crash
of skeleton-sinking waves, leaving Galway’s air fresh with the reminder of death.
Everything was so green, I thought we were alive.
Last year you thought I had tied my ribbons in her branches, that was why
my hair was so untamed, why I laughed like a storm, why I told you secrets and crashed into the sea. You are letting go of everything, you said, they all said.
You only believe what you can see: bales of straw, rocks, red paint
and whiskey, but I tied my ribbons in the hawthorn’s roots, and I drank elixirs and danced to a band with a melody you will never whistle while you wonder at the sea.
I stopped wondering, and every time you think I am smiling, I am peering
into the faces of faeries, dancing without tempo, spinning in and out of arms
too much like yours, untying all of the ribbons, flinging away every promise,
laughing like I am free.
But, truthfully, I have not seen the sky in years.
|Rachael Jennings is an English and American Literature major at Middlebury College. More >