Feral Friday: Cave Woman

Sometimes, when I’m writing, I wonder where things come from–thoughts, ideas, images–of people and places I never knew. I wonder…but I don’t worry (well, unless it’s something really weird!). I just try to be grateful enough (which is impossible) for such a gift which, if I’d been able to choose, would have been my pick from amongst all the possibilities. (I would probably also picked a bit of femme fatale, but you can’t have everything!)

For some reason, this poem has been on my mind lately–it’s one I wrote quite a long time ago, and it still makes me sad to think of the woman in the poem always blaming herself for a tragic accident that was not her fault, and gradually withdrawing from the world so she could live with her memories. I appreciate it having been printed in WNC Woman in 2007–there are very few thrills for writers that compare to seeing your work in print.

I hope those who take time to read it will feel the pull between the beauty of the natural world this woman experiences around her, and the pull of the past that makes her turn away from what is and what could be to what was…

Read and enjoy (or despise–but if so, I don’t need to know!) for yourself:

Cave Woman

Long time lonesome,
up here—like the world’s end, betimes—
watching, waiting for nothing
to change. Nobody to talk at
but wind and trees.

Early morning tells
a story—like milk and honey
from God’s own pitcher,
dripped across the clean blue cloth
He laid out for sky.

No man, no babies
here—just a springhouse
and a grave-house, lost
beneath wild grape tangles.
Don’t matter where.

This cold stone floor,
these coal-streaked, rocky walls,
rest me easy, help me
disremember times with
beams and puncheon.

Nola’d be the age
I was then, now, and woman-growed;
little Jubey—man enough to help
his pa a full day’s toil amongst
the rows of corn.

There’s none but me
to wonder how damp green wood
(in a slow oven, under beans)
caught like it was powder-dry and took
the chimney with it.

Folks tell that place
as haunted—nothing but a
growed-up, house-shaped charred spot
marks where nobody don’t know
our name no more.

I hide myself
down deep—fire can’t follow—
as daylight burns itself to
gray-gold ash against a grate
of pines and hills.

Store-bought sugar stars,
sprinkled on a bolt of night,
draw me, creeping quiet-like, to
where I sit, remembering, how it felt to be alive.

One Comment Add yours

  1. ltbrwnhare says:

    Reblogged this on Gomming & Yowing and commented:

    I hope you’ll feel the pull between the beauty of the natural world this woman experiences around her, and the pull of the past that makes her turn away from what is and what could be to what was…

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