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  • Penelope
    by Vonnie Winslow Crist

    I long to catch lightning
    as it swarms through airspace,
    to cage a smoldering ribbon
    with interlocking fingers,
    to unravel its blazing fabric
    one flossy strand after another
    like a tapestry which must remain
    as unfinished as our love
    each daybreak, though I weave
    my years away.

    I would scheme with sea hawks,
    knot a burnished message
    to each spindly leg, and bombard
    the dome of night with spectacle.
    Then far-off, you
    would tilt your silvered head,
    sway with sudden vertigo, and, compelled
    by chiming of unspeakable desire,
    alter your travel plans, sail your ship
    straight-away to my harbor.

    But this morn,
    like two thousand before,
    seems earmarked for suitors and handiwork.
    Still, I listen
    for the telltale commotion
    and wear patience, virtue like garlands
    about a brow full of maiden's dreams
    as I prowl the seawall,
    search the horizon for sails,
    study the undertow, and curse
    all heroes.

    Previously published in an earlier version in her book, "Essential Fables."

    Vonnie Winslow Crist , BS Art-Ed, MS Professional Writing, Towson University, is a columnist for "Harford's Heart Magazine," an illustrator for "The Vegetarian Journal," editor of "The Gunpowder Review," and a contributor to "Faerie Magazine." Cold Moon Press recently published a collection of her fantasy stories, "The Greener Forest," available at Amazon and elsewhere.
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