Along uphills and nettles, she comes
finally to the bald—star of Bethlehem,
water and stone, reflecting pool
of unresolve. Weathered thick of skin
in late killing frost, paper lunaria
loosed to wind, the dreamy what was
gone to seed. Nothing to do but fling
wishful intent to heaven’s inner dome.
Her fable heart, like Androcles, writes
free of the past’s last straw, like runaway
slave, she bends to great wounded paw.
From grievous beast, thorn pulled from
deep, her sentence, her pardon, mercy
unbidden, she writes time’s own release.
Linda Parsons is the reviews editor at Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel. She has contributed to The Georgia Review, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Baltimore Review, Shenandoah, and Ted Kooser’s syndicated column, American Life in Poetry, among many other journals and anthologies. Her fifth poetry collection, Candescent, is forthcoming from Iris Press. Parsons is also playwright-in-residence for The Hammer Ensemble, the social justice wing of Flying Anvil Theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Artwork: Eugene Delacroix, Lion, watercolor, 1841