Willow

Her hair hangs down wild,
green-tendril web or
sieve trawling ripple-cracked
mirror of lake.

Each knotted tress –
dipped, shaken and snarled
about water-witch knees
knobbed with bending –
each whip wet with weeping
drags the bottom for bones.

And there are bones.
The moon’s bloody eye
sees the murderess kneeling,
sobbing for lovers a fathom below.

Skulls smoothed and cradled,
rolled in the darkness;
strong shanks and haunches
dredged up in her chill net;
fish weirs of rib
staked in silt and eel tangles.

Lonely, she angles.
She moans and she dabbles.
She curses the shore where she waits all alone.
Her reed pipes and herons,
her palace of fishes,
her rockery garden and lotus-decked halls,
do nothing to soothe her.

She waits near the shallows.
She floats out her green locks
and searches the currents
for the lapping of oars.

e. yon/2002 (from Fruit & Bones)

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2 thoughts on “Willow

    1. I love the beauteous willows, but they have always been a bit frightening to me, too. Beloved of Hecate, found as a favorite carving on old tombstones, emblems of the underworld with the power of regeneration. It’s hard to keep a good willow down. By night, of course, they walk. I’ve never doubted it. In the novel I’m hammering away at writing, I created my own faerie tale involving willows. Seems a childhood bogey must out.

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