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Changed Alliance

Changed Alliance

A Poem by La Belle Dame Sans Merci

The more quickly I grew, the sooner I could leave you,

Discard my patchwork heart for a stone the size of my fist:

Bare-knuckled and bruised; it won't tear or suffer from unraveling.

I mapped how to get to Cote d'Ivoire, walk the unblemished beach,

Out of the reach from your bamboo stick carving

Grooves into the side of me.

The first exile came before the first candle was blown,

Flight precluded walking, and I,


The dimpled diplomat, mailed to the island of your infancy.



I did my duty, acquired the native tongue,


When you summoned once more, my alliances


Had turned to grandmother's pekinese dogs.



No more explaining every falling wound,

The door and floor did not inflict it, only claws,

Crimson and sharp as a roosters that incised my heart.

Is madness, your torch, ready to set me ablaze?

Rising little phoenix girl up into the air, circling round

All the people who live down there.

I played in the brambles you grew in your garden, mother dear,

They were my fortress nest which some prince must hack through

After poisoning you to free me from despair.

Eventually, it was the window I had to scramble through

Without a clump of hair and eyes swollen shut, blind,

It might have been night when I left the last time.

© 2008 La Belle Dame Sans Merci

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Chilling! If autobiographical, more than chilling. Your rebellion against a culture which condones physical brutality from parent to child is understandable. Sad too, because that bond between mother and daughter can never be reforged.

Posted 9 Years Ago

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Added on October 29, 2008
Last Updated on October 29, 2008


La Belle Dame Sans Merci
La Belle Dame Sans Merci


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