Departure in the Throes of Spring
Down the westward path
where the willow grass shifts
in a minor wind, the woman
herself an echo of the former,
now eager to be gone, out
of the crumbled house and the nights
of ruined music with the crooked half shutter
and the moss-whipped barrel of rainwater,
the hurry of her lugging a bag
with questionable seams.
She’s left the cold tea and crumbs
and whatever is crammed in the back
cupboard, she’s left her velvet shoes
worn once and her books, she’s left
him who’s sleeping now forever
in the damp bed, the red rough scar
on his chin. Away she is, with intent
and a few coins and no one the wiser
perhaps for weeks to come. She’s past
the lake into the crisp shadows.
She’ll walk as far as she can and further
into a somewhere else she’s longed for,
blank as the blackboard she’d washed
as a child, directed by the nuns
who told her lies.
Mercedes Lawry is the author of three chapbooks, the latest, In the Early Garden with Reason, was selected by Molly Peacock for the 2018 WaterSedge Chapbook Contest. Her poetry has appeared in such journals as Poetry, Nimrod, and Prairie Schooner and she’s been nominated several times for a Pushcart Prize. Her book, Vestiges, was just released by Kelsay Books. Her collection Small Measures will be published in 2024.