Girl In White With White Cheeks

by Sheila Hamilton

Crowding the roots of this ancient tree,
black beads, white beads, postcards
of the Virgin, pleas for help on bits
of paper. Requests in several languages.
Requests in Braille.
Requests that are misspelt, ungrammatical,
surprising, odd.
Someone wants their drains unclogged.
Sometimes I show up by the tree:
girl in white with white cheeks,
girl in white with a red book, as red
as my palms and wrists became.
I'm always white, just as the tree
is always white. Sometimes the faithful,
the ones who've stumbled through the fog,
the mud, try to engage me in conversation.
Why am I always by the tree?
What circumstances brought me here?
Why is it that the birds don't sing?
Tell us, they say, about your death.
My death is incomplete : I have evanesced
into my floaty veil but only so far,
I will go no further.

Sheila Hamilton Sheila Hamilton lives in the Northwest of England with three children, two cats and one husband. She is widely published. Her collection of poems Corridors of Babel is available from Poetry Salzburg.

When asked what poem the word "cherry" immediately made her think of, she named "The Cherry Trees," by Edward Thomas.

Back to Table of Contents