THREE VISITATIONS AND A PRINCE
by Joan Mitchell
When the poisoned apple lodged in your throat
the sad dwarfs hauled you to a wide hilltop
and left you there alone. Your glass coffin
is an odd sky window where the seasons pass
like familiar strangers, and bring eternities
of birds. The owl comes with the first
snow’s silence, tufted feet just above your head.
Round gold eyes. His tears clink on the glass.
The raven brings tears of rain, and a comic
waddle. He peers at you from one side
of his head and then the other as new green
mounds along the coffin’s sides. Summer’s dove
has the tiniest feet, a busy scuffling on the glass.
He pecks on the lid right above your nose:
“I’d curl, curl, curl soft and gray beside you.”
The prince will come as crisp leaves skitter on the lid.
He’ll kiss you, and it all begins again: Rush of mind
and blood. Tug of others. Bicker of everyday birds.
Pleased to announce this poem is forthcoming in The Santa Fe Literary Review, which is currently in production ad should be out midsummer, with a launch party in September.
“Artifact” by Gail Rieke