Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism

BLOOM AND THORN

Mon frere, I know, entre nous,
that you went to your window last night,
n'est-ce pas?
Then, something drew you
out into the rain.
You stood in the dark,
bare feet on wet boards,
rain soaking your shirt.
Something kept you out there,
something you couldn't quite hear,
couldn't quite see.
Uneasy, you returned to your bed.
Awake at dawn, you hurried out and found
the white hawthorn in bloom.

(Listen)
Au pres de ma blonde.
In the night when it rains,
she sings and waits outside your window,
La Belle Dame Sans Merci.
Standing between the hawthorn
and the holly,
at her hem, nettle and foxglove,
and over her head
the cedar dripping, dripping.
Fair hair, yellow gown,
skin white as death,
she sings to you with her horrible red mouth,
Qu'il fait beau, fait beau, fait beau.
Rain streaming down wet
strands of hair,
running in rivulets
across her shoulders,
down the length of her arms,
dripping from her fingers,
water sluicing across her breasts, her lap,
gathering in a pool
in which she stands ankle deep:
Au pres de ma blonde.
The Beautiful Woman Without Pity
raises both arms and opens her hands
and each outstretched palm holds
a singing frog,
singing, singing,
calling you, calling your name,
cheeks hot with fever,
eyes bright:
Qu'il fait beau dormir.

Something woke you at dawn.
You hurried out and found
the white hawthorn in full flower.
You ran and you embraced it, bloom and thorn.
You opened and embraced it, bloom and thorn.

m a r y   v i c t o r i a   d o m b r o w s k i
b a i n b r i d g e   i s l a n d ,   w a s h i n g t o n

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