J. Quinn Buckley
Before the horses fell I was a princess. There was nothing to restore.
mired in middle tar puddles. Middle of Main Street.
AARNE-THOMPSON TYPE 442 (OLD WOMEN IN THE WOODS)
I take the babe,
ginger curled and bundled, down to the trainyard
and watch the many
maybewidows line the tracks
with such abeyance, hung as scarecrows, arms pinned up
in hopes of a loved one landing.
These women, bulging brick walls and we ought
to be their alleyways the babe tells me then asks
Do you want to see my face
smile? I didn't know an empty space
The babe came in winter. After I swallowed
a snowflake, squatting in the garden,
chewing Angel's Trumpet, the babe
came in spring. It was one or the other. I can't recall
which unwoke me. I lay there thinking,
must track my cub,
plan to stay stretched, love
so much I could eat you
up, gobbling allowed
at the table, we never
have guests for supper. When one of us runs
from the other, I am too hungry to tell
which is which. She gets
small enough to fit
inside my mouth. Light touches
the shoulder, the lump
in the throat.
Aarne-Thompson is a classification system for fairy tales. The subheading found here has been altered. Here is one that is unaltered: Aarne-Thompson type 1281: Burning the Barn to Destroy an Unknown Animal. These poems contain language found in Audrey Chapman's 1986 self-help book, Mansharing: Dilemma or Choice.