The Party Dress of Pomegranate Seeds

She wanted to stay after midnight
so she began to gnaw
at the hem of her gown.

It had been a gift
from a needle-nimble nymph
who preferred stitching together seeds

to spinning guilders out of straw
in exchange -- so, in truth,
it wasn't truly a gift

although she hadn't known to yearn for it
until the river's current had swept her into
the undrownable calm of the seamstress's cove --

for the dress of red-tinged tears,
the cool sacs of jewel-toned juice
vibrantly fragile, becoming warm

against her skin -- her skin now streaked
with the chewed-up aftermath of the seeds,
their commandments staining her lips

as she smashes her slippers
against the inside of the gates:
she won't need to be found

for she's already here, already
bequeathed her name and her mother --
yielded the harvests she once could claim --

to the lady of the tender needle. Not
for her the roundels of the seasons,
the fruitful marriage of sun and water.

No. Instead, for her, the grains of the night
softening in the smoke of guttering candles --
for her, the honeycomb of shadows.

Peg Duthie works as a copyeditor in Nashville, Tennessee. Her poems have appeared at No Tell Motel, The Pedestal, Flashquake, Southern Gothic, and other venues. Her website is www.nashpanache.com

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761