day 29 — shadow waltz
What calls to you at night, lacking
girl with small-wrist hands that reach
and fumble for skims of light,
are ghosts, my dear, phantoms—
not shadows, not silhouettes
of your sisters’ autumn dance.
They used to plead for you to dance
with them; books were lacking
to prancing, slender silhouettes,
and handsome men needed to reach
and hold aloft tiny waists, like phantoms
with their voices soft and feet light.
You used to hide from the light-
haired boys. Your words would dance
around them, coaxing with phantom
promises, never lacking
in saccharine kindness, and you would reach
a sort of joy in all your false silhouettes.
Tonight, under the severe silhouettes
of Victorian ancestors, your sisters’ light
laughter does not crest, far out of reach
and the spirits continue to dance.
Hear their shackles, screams lacking,
sounds they make not sound, but sound-phantoms.
"We love you madly," say the phantoms,
"each evening without you lacking.
Let us dress you in gossamer silhouettes
and confess in our de-light.
Let our mouthless kisses dance
and our reaching fingers reach.”
This is dawnless, you realize as you reach
the old ballroom, the phantoms
fawning and tripping now, no dance
or waltz to the way their silhouettes
drape over you, and you wish to light
everything ablaze, but passion, still, you are lacking.
Morning reaches your tired silhouette.
The only phantoms left are you and the growing light,
but to dance with little Dawn feels… lacking.
Day 29- Briefly research a poetic form of your choice and write a poem according to the rules of that particular form.
The sestina is wonderful, and I know one poet who wrote lovely sestinas. I’ve always been too afraid to try them; they’re difficult, but so lovely.