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triptych mirror


Unplucked, the highest fruit must fall, the Book
of Changes says of you and me, this day
of twenty-three, disintegrating hook
by crook and other piracies that slay
your notions of lukewarm egalité.
All blood is royal blue until it’s spilled,
all secrets that once shocked us fade to gray.
The fleurs de lis you wore upon your cloak
now decorate the oxen’s humble yoke.


Thunder, it is said, in winter months hides
deep in mountain passes, where no one can
penetrate; a solitary force bides
she, till heated whispers of lightning’s plan
arouses her. She creeps across the land
sharp-focused, rumbling through the fertile minds
that have no fear of mysteries, she’ll dam
the rest, their wayward tongues she’ll scorch & bind
and leave you chasing shadows till you’re blind.


The purple ash outside my house stands tall.
Descendant of Armada’s fleet, he knows
the names and faces of the ones who call,
regardless of the hour, and he throws
the stubborn profligate as food to crows.
Our moments of past symmetry may shine—
don’t know—but polished copper pots don’t grow
a garden or a book, so leave what’s mine
for me to blend until it turns to wine.


© Elaine Stirling, 2013
Image of Victorian French Dore Bronze Triptych
mirror from http://www.rubylane.com