MARIGOLD WOMAN: Two steps forward is also backwards

The spring planting is all the reek of compost and the orderly rows of expectant, hopeful cells. We water them with our tears and our desire for warm weather.

Speak, O Muse, of the wrath of this lonely woman, putting up her barren fury and her stillborn dreams and her frigid loyalty in endless mason jars.

Heaven waits for those who wait; it crouches at the threshold and chants patiently while they twiddle their thumbs in growing despair.

Here at the end of the world, I am not what I would be, nor yet what I ought to be, nor even what I take myself to be. The birds are all gone now, and the grass is dead, and the air is cold and stale. Here at the end of the world, I watch you tear yourselves to pieces and I can do nothing. Here at the end of the world, I wait for the kings of tomorrow to catch me in their white-hot paws and squeeze the life out of me until I become one of the men without lungs.

I will be prosperous, then, but I cling to my poverty.

It’s not much that I ask! I told my lover.

But the days when my lover could hear me had been gone a long time, by then, and we had discovered that I had mistaken a pile of dirty laundry for a lover.

I am here, at the end of the world.

You are not here. He is not here.

I am here.

I will not leave.

The spring planting is upon me.