At Titania's Garage Sale
Dried violet, musk roses, eglantine,
and wild thyme planked out between unmatched
saw-horses near the front, their smells to call
you hither; racks of elven coats, snake skin
bewitched as tap dance shoes, stomping galoshes;
stuffed geese, caught out by Cupid's bow, hanging
from open pinewood rafters. Clearing the motes
and cobwebs from the bins of mustard seed
and peaseblossom: Titania herself,
still muttering she thought the furniture
would be the last to go.
The king of shadows,
the rolling Os of tide within his name,
jackanape and jester, instead the first
to haunt the hollows gods are heir to.
Sweaty late afternoon sunlight makes halos
of her hair, but silver ones, not gold.
And in the way she rubs the vial, now
empty, sets it aside and picks it up
again, it's clear that love forgives the tricks
of jealousy. What price, immortal tears?
And will the honey bags and green figs ripen
dusty, shuttered, shut out of fairy song?
Mary Alexandra Agner's
poetry appears in North American Review,
Passages North, The Literary Review,
and others. She's at work on a novel-in-verse, Queen of the Steppe,
and a lyric poetry manuscript inspired by Shakespeare's plays. She was awarded a 2006 Fellowship in
Literature by the Somerville Arts Council. All her life she's observed the universe and written about it.
Visit her website at www.pantoum.org