it's rarely said;
the silver deadline looms
and you haven't guessed the riddle yet
or you have.
you follow directions closely when
retrieving rubies for the dwarves,
the crones, the somethings in disguise.
and you grow wise. or
the clock strikes twelve, but barely
anything else except: when the coach breaks down,
it's time for pumpkin pie
the children chime.
or you are lost in the woods
that have no end, my friend.
my friend where the tick tock of the soul
is just bewildering;
sorting the peas from the ashes
and spinning the straw to someone else's gold
until your story's told
unless it all comes back to you in stunning detail
after you're so footsore you can hardly stand.
you were in that land, and spoke all afternoon
to people from another place
and luck and time ran out on you
(but never Grace)
just as you stooped to pluck
the one rose in their snows.
mary angela douglas 29 june 2015