By ANGIE MACRI
as a girl approaches a mirror,
not yet a queen, and maybe never,
seeing in the water
no man’s voice to answer,
to say you are better
Over her shoulder, her mother
formed a constellation,
a knee, a hand, and breast perfect
as stars. The girl stared in the moving water
at dreams of a woman’s figure:
god’s follower or king’s mother
or a judge become prophet in a war.
What wonder when her mother sang verses
of the woman who used a hammer
to put a tent spike through the enemy’s temple
after filling him with milk
when he was weary: turn in, my lord, turn
in to me; fear
not. And she went softly.
The girl watched her mother reflected behind her,
long before and also after
the monster was sent to find her.
She leaned closer to the river
to better see the queen behind her,
her breath a galaxy on the river’s glass surface,
awake, awake, awake, awake.
Angie Macri is the author of Underwater Panther, winner of the Cowles Poetry Book Prize, and Fear Nothing of the Future or the Past. Her recent work appears in The Journal, Quiddity, and The Southern Review. An Arkansas Arts Council fellow, she lives in Hot Springs. Find her online at angiemacri.wordpress.com.