Saturday, 4 January 2014


She sat in the chair,
And tapped impatient nails:
"Off with their heads!"

I ran my fingers in a slow caress
Over each long sinuous tress.
"Cut it off?" I exclaimed,
"All of it!" she cried, "Off!"

I entwined my fingers
With the langorous curls:
"It will grow back, you know..."
My reluctance must have shown
For she raised her eyes from
Her own reflection to mine-
Long dark lustrous eyes-
And a slow perfect tear
Ran down her cheek
And turned to stone.

"I'm just so very tired
Of being alone."
"Yes," I whispered,
"Sister, I know..."
And I lifted the razor.

It was a labour of love,
Let me tell you,
For the bloody vipers
Were unwilling
To be beheaded,
And soon I was knee-deep
In blood and venom;
But in the end I had to agree
She looked quite sweet
With the snakes trimmed.

She jumped up and beamed:
"Oh thank you, dear sister,
I feel so much lighter!"
I had no desire to blight her
Patent joy, but I knew the truth
She chose to avoid.

It was not the snakes
That made men quake;
It was the tranquil
Pale perfection
Of her dreaming face;
Or perhaps the fear
They'd find themselves truly
In that silvery reflection;
Lost in the power of
The spirit-snake.

So I let her go.
I watched her
Sway away in her heels
And her red silk dress;
And screamed to
The waiting Manticore:

Manuela Cardiga

No comments:

Post a Comment