By Nancy Smiler Levinson
This work was published in the Fall 2015 issue of The Lost Country. You may purchase a copy of this issue from us or, if you prefer, from Amazon.
Nature’s hand at work oft shapes
mid-forehead hairline to a v
seeming like a mourning veil
to those afar in days of yore;
so calling it a widow’s peak,
feared dark omen of
widowhood to early be.
In ye olde shop the printer slogs,
blackened fingers, smudged with ink,
setting type—letters, words,
forming text to fit each page.
Ah, but look\ldots last line hangs
left lone on the following leaf—
What call it, this dangling sentence fade?
’Tis known as a widow in the trade.
Atop the house roof cupola,
clutching shawl in coastal winds,
while from this confined widow walk
she casts her eye far out to sea,
watching for the whaling ship, God
willing, bring her husband home to thee.
She creeps on high bent-wire legs,
seeking courtship, thirsting blood.
With mate attacked, black widow
spider copulates, then kills
with but one venomous bite.
Alas, she’s exiled to live alone
until time for her next deadly strike.
With a widow woo and a widow wee,
awaltz in the ballroom one, two, three,
operetta’s grand sweeping steps
how merry might the widow be?
Death took my love from me,
No violins, no waltz melody
Muffled echoes from faded walls—
No widow woo, no widow wee.