She had known bitter days

She had known bitter days

A Poem by Terpsichore

 
Sin is, or sin isn't, she thinks,
icy with detachment
as she squeezes the trigger.
Payback for all the damaged years.

The afternoon is bright,
the room is silent.
Mirrors magnify and 
thoughts assemble,
as cloistered in serene order, 
she drifts away on a draught 
of simple murder.

First shot, in the groin.
He squeals like a pig, 
teeth bared, forehead veined
as fluid runs down his leg
and clouds soak up the sun
in the onset of dusk.

She laughs thinly, takes aim again
at his thumping heart.
She is slightly off target and
the slug smashes his shoulder blade,
he squirms on the oriental rug,
howling through bullet splintered bone
as she prays for pain.

He can't speak now, 
she knows this slow dance
is his last, that they are 
sharing final seconds.
This is their eucharist and 
she is giving him the gift of 
white light and eternal damnation.

She prods at his dying face
with the toe of her suede high heel,
casually lights a cigarette.
One more shot for the road...
Aims at his forehead, laughs 
and this time doesn't miss.

Calmly, she changes clothes, 
packs what she needs, then 
telephones for a cab.
Two hours later at the airport 
she reflects happily on the deed,
dressed in a gaucho jacket 
and a wide-brimmed, black Madrid hat.
Bound for New Orleans, and no way back.

In the Mardis Gras hotel room
she examines herself.
Runs slender fingers over the purple scars
that now defile her empty chest.
She remembers the words of rejection
and the lack of needful sympathy.
The cruel taunts of lost womanhood
and the solo pain of chemotherapy
whilst he sought comfort elsewhere.

She is not in remission.
The poisonous flower still blooms,
opening insidiously, inside her.
Her days are numbered,
cheap as yesterdays cloakroom tickets;
but it is carnival time
and she has come here to die
in the party atmosphere. 
First though she must sleep,
garner what little strength remains.

She wakes to the sound of flutes and drums
drifting on the willowy breeze.
Tonight she will dance again
until her feet bleed from the rough streets.
She will drink dark rum passed from 
anonymous revellers, flirt a little, 
perhaps steal one last kiss as the fiery 
mahogany spirit warms her cancerous tumours.

At dusk the sky fills with violet ash
from the crackling carnival bonfires,
she goes deep into the crowd,
cherishing every passing moment
amongst the parrot feathers and tinfoil,
the glinting diamantes and white silky blaze
as she wanders slowly back to her hotel.

From her chair on the balcony 
she can smell honeysuckle and French roses.
Can hear a choir, emotive and distant.
She leans back, closes her eyes for a moment,
listening to the flapping of linen sheets
as the maid unravels them.
They sound like the wings of a bird;
a free bird, as she quietly slips away.











© 2016 Terpsichore



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Reviews

A moving piece, well written. Well done!
Terry

Posted 1 Year Ago


This is so very well written and your wonderful descriptions build such a sympathetic character that has me cheering for her strength and courage, even though she's just committed a crime. You have given her a happy ending.

Posted 1 Year Ago


This is proof that you can do with (in) poetry, what you can do in life if life is a series of hurts and recompense . That is, everything that happens after Dickinson is confessional or after Ginsberg is not a story worth telling. But storytelling is what, ultimately, poetry is about, perhaps just in a round about way.

The scars of a scorned women are slow to heal/, but the honeysuckle still bloom. Wonderfully written/
dana

Posted 1 Year Ago


Such an incredible compelling tale encapsulated in a just dozen supremely well crafted stanzas. Many a best selling author, would, I am sure, give their eye teeth to possess your craftmanship.

I was both captured and captivated from first line to last.

Beccy.


Posted 1 Year Ago


Whatever I say here will fall woefully short of your creation. To speak to it as a moral story, or an artwork or simply a superb collection of evocative words will certainly not do this creation anywhere near its true justice.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Wow indeed.... Is it a book, is it a play, is it a movie?

Well it could be all these things & I for one am otherwise lost for words. I never expected to stumble across such a compelling write & can only echo some of the many positives already expressed by my reviewing predecessors. All Good Things, N

Posted 1 Year Ago


This is storytelling as it should be done, not only the compelling narrative but the empathy, the knowing, the use of language providing shading and depth, giving the piece the added dimension which sets the good stuff apart from the Robert Service type of fol-de-rol. Suffice it to say I wish I had written this.

Posted 1 Year Ago


WOW....could be the screenplay for a movie. No, those who have been physically or mentally abused are never in true remission. They carry it with them always and unfortunately believe they deserved it on some level. How real the scenarios you describe are. Yes, she is free....on some level. Will she ever truly be free though? Intense and powerful. Well written. Lydi**

Posted 1 Year Ago


What an interesting narrative poem. I thoroughly enjoyed it -- and its different form.

Posted 1 Year Ago


This is one of the most realistic, seemingly alarming posts i've ever read in my eight plus years in the cafe. It's superb in form, content and somehow - - jump starts every sense! Read it three times, third time aloud - theatrically, and still it makes me cringe yet moves me to tears, ' ..she can smell honeysuckle and French roses. Can hear a choir, emotive and distant. She leans back, closes her eyes for a moment, listening. .. .. ' Think if I t wanted, would refer to so many phrases or stanzas but.. the writing needs be addressed with respect not multi-coloured analysis.

This would/could make a b/w movie - short, perhaps near silent. Brilliantly dark. Thank you ..

Posted 1 Year Ago



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Added on July 12, 2016
Last Updated on July 12, 2016

Author

Terpsichore
Terpsichore

London, United Kingdom



About
Nothing much to tell really. I work in the city, boring, but lucrative enough to enable me to spend most weekends away from the place. I enjoy writing, reading equally as much. Like retro style cloth.. more..

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