Thank you for visiting my public writing journal! This poem I’ve been working on for the past week; I hope you enjoy!
“Daphne” by Caleb Jacobo
Mid-December snows whirl round the farmhouse As Tom wends out the door with late Daphne, Says he, “I’ll bury her by the Laurel Tree — Tonight she’ll dine with better company.” How quickly the Moonflowers of Man’s heart Pile and bloom under Night’s proud pursuit, Sorely won; with much lost — more taken — To wilt in windrows of glorious Sun. Two years he saved, three stomaches hired; to Raise and gas the crop; one father left in The east malingering — sent surrogate: My own volatile propriety. Ideals had he, but we: antipathy; The fulsome Furrow? — drenched in disdain; The Yew? refused to yean, and Cow? to milk; None woke with blinds drawn for the Sun, but Tom. In late August an aster blossomed, so Potent in adulation, once drunk, Tom, In wistful peregrination, possessed, Through hollows, hollers out her name: Daphne. Until the munificent Mourning Doves, Pitying my brother’s phantom address, Woo him to ivory sheets — where blind Faunus Moved him not, and naught would calm his burning love. Whis’ling wings passed notes, wind to hand, ‘tween man And girl, but then, spotted by some Peacock, Hera’s harbinger of heartache, Were exposed in their illicit affair. Flee! to the isle of aired orchards; To what? wed ‘neath the bough's of apple apse? You smile, but watch Tom harrow the aisle. Raise latticed arcades; write words — both avow. But, infant dew of wedding joy was soon absorbed in the insatiable fallow Of Tom’s tempered heart; as the hardest Winter strikes; no chance to vie nor batten. For Daphne, Tom plied iron armed spade — 'gainst Argus’ gossips; a life galvanized; What love cultivated in September; Pneumonia harvested Mid-December. Now, their storm harries on; Tom spades the ground By Daphne, bound on hallowed Laurel Hill, Gales freeze blood in his veins — he strikes again; He strikes again! then — CRACK! The spade’s broke it’s back! One foot shallow a grave . . . And now he sees; not lying on a carpet of lilies — Exposed to heaven’s wight! — her porcelain cheeks Frosted mulch-blue; receipt of Nature’s due. “Oh, thriftless Youth,” says he, “my fairest Daphne, How in this husky habit Truth’s belied; And forth my frosty lungs more woe betide; Yet, let not Death remove, our tender love.” With his last breath, and a crackling sound, Tom lie over his lover’s mound. Please . . . think on Tom, who’s song I would sustain, On Moonflower’d Hills, where all we remain.
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