Guest Poet Paula Grenside


Spring’s dusk lingers in plaited shadows,
                      enters the garden, wades into weeds 
                      and grass. Hands clear a way through
                      hairy leaves of nettle, grasp blue-eyed
                      forget-me nots, yellow daisies, violets.
                      Stalks smelling of damp soil twist; petals
                      recline on fingers, wrists purple with stings. 

                      Pulp-heap of flowers at his side, he picks
                      a bunch of nettle, fastens it with black wire,
                      walks into the house. On the mantlepiece,
                      his wife's picture, daisies in dark hair, pierces
                      him with metal blue eyes. Her lips, half hiding
                      sharp teeth, conceal venomous tongue tip.
                      He places the nettle bouquet in a marble vase.
                      Red marks all over aching hands and arms,
                      he scratches, rubs, scratches, smiles.

June, 2000

Paula Grenside's Questions:

1- Is the identity of the "hands" too delayed?

2- The action is low and detailed. Does it prepare the reader for the final twist?

The Albany Poetry Workshop