by Ann K. Schwader
Beginning with the shroud she claimed, but now her own — a pallid winding up of days one long grave at a time — she chooses shades to match the faded hair, the eyes that strained across a wine-dark lie of swift return until they spilled libations in the dust for deaf gods not to answer. Brighter hues inspire a tapestry of blood & fire from Ilium to Ithaca until a feast-hall overflows with ghosts, the last unfaithful maid greets Charon with a kiss to cool her swollen tongue, & Grey-Eyes smiles the way she only does when slaughter rates the name of art. Now with her final skeins — unbleached, still virgin — stretched across a frame of shifting shadows, she creates a sail to catch the sacred wind that lifts the dust of graves & days away from shore . . . & now herself as well, past sunset on a wave of sirens while some god-pawn wanderer keeps shouldering his oar & trudging on.
Ann K. Schwader lives, writes, and volunteers at her local branch library in Westminster, CO. Her most recent collection of poems, Twisted in Dream, appeared in December 2011 from Hippocampus Press. Her previous collection, Wild Hunt of the Stars (Sam's Dot 2010), was a Bram Stoker Award finalist. When not writing, she collects all things H.P. Lovecraft, grows (mostly) non-poisonous herbs, and attempts to study Middle Egyptian hieroglyphs.
When asked of what poem the word "cherry" immediately makes her think, she replied as follows: "This is probably an English major cliché of the most tiresome sort, but the word 'cherry' immediately brings to mind 'Loveliest of Trees' by A.E. Housman."
Back to Table of Contents