When Hester Was First Conceived

I find myself dreaming about stories, as of old…

                                                        Nathaniel Hawthorne

hester 

You were in the Custom  House

calculating the cost of things

when Autumn struck your eye

with her amber light

and tongue with the taste of cider

as wind blew through a field

of ripening apples. Your mind wandered there

 

and further along the wayside

where feather grass and wild berries sprawled

over a split-rail fence. Where carrot blossoms

held the breath captive with their intricate weave

and dark bloodspot. Blood — legends say

a queen spilled from pricking her finger

on the needle while tatting lace. But you saw

something different. A scarlet flourish begun

on cloth where a woman stitched her shame

 

and shadowed the door of her hut

with the shape of an adulteress

shifting soon to a mother. A young mother

who listened as her child turned in a cradle

facing the sea.

 

 

2 comments

  1. Wendy,

    This poem is magical. 5 a.m. and at first glance, the opening stanza had me wide awake with the taste of autumn on my tongue.

    “Your mind wandered along the wayside

    where feather grass and wild berries sprawled

    over a split-rail fence.”

    Yes! A scene for all times!

    “as her child turned in a cradle

    facing the sea.”

    If there is perfection, surely this is it! Your talent as a poet is a joy and all the greater for the empathy
    that fills your soul.

    Now I want to read The Scarlet Letter again!

    Sarah

    Like

  2. Thank you so much Sarah

    Your kind words and impressions of this poem, really brighten my day! I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, and yes, The Scarlet Letter is a fantastic novel, one worth another reading.

    Again many thanks!
    Take care ,
    Wendy

    Like

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