Issue Thirty - Summer 2017

The Young Widow

By Jess Mills

I will put on widows’ weeds. 
Everyone will see my sorrow.  
In  shops, women
will purse up their smiles, 
avert their eyes
from the cross-hatch 
of my short, black veil.
Children will cease 
their loud, incessant play,
back themselves 
against their mothers’ knees,
and stare at me 
with round eyes.
The whisper 
of my long black skirts will say
          I am dead.  
          I am ashes.
Let all who step aside to let me pass
halt their lucky lives and tremble. 
Let  no one laugh.  
Let no one speak of dancing.
I am black with fury, I am red with rage.
You, my only love, 
you shrouded my body
in a costume of despair
and you left me here 
in the company of wraiths.

Copyright Mills 2017