The Goddess Of Death Wishes Otherwise

by Wendy Howe

And so my season comes early, hills
all polished with its glaze, cauldron-pour
of heavy sleet. They gleam
like the skulls I will scour and stack
along the garden’s landscape.

How many will die this year?
Even I don’t know that number.
It’s hidden in stone, leaf or quill
left bird-fallen where a higher god
might use it to etch
a rosary of blue veins
along my breast, his mortal count
blurred under the skin. 

Some village women say
I am given shadow wings like the crow,
but mine are a tangled fray
of roots. With them I hover
in this cold sky undulating
songs of death.

I am tired of being that wild harp,
that wash line of lament
on which the soldier’s wife
poignantly hangs her heart. So please
banish the Winter moon.
Resuscitate Indian Summer
and as her bottle brush sweeps
away those particles of frost,
let me stay long enough
to love a man and carry his seed
not his migrating soul.

Wendy Howe is a free lance writer who lives with her partner in the high desert of Southern California. She has traveled the hills, canyons and coastline of the Pacific including the islands of Oahu and Maui. She also travels through time, myth and history as a mental shape-shifter, a poet. Her works have been published in diverse journals including Flutter, Stirring, A literary Collection, Black Mail Press, Sage Trail, Soundzine, Tongues of The Ocean, The Red River Review, The Victorian Violet Press, The Ancient Heart, The 3rd Muse, Eclectica, Goblin Fruit, Sotto Voce, Mi-Poesias, Southern Ocean Review, Poetry magazine and three recent anthologies exploring myth and women’s issues which include; Lilith, Postcards From Eve and Tipping The Sacred Cow.  

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