Epiphany in Ebony

Clad black in
she argues storms
with a vast
and empty sable sky
folds her paper hands
into loose lilies
and holds her breath
to call him home.


Written for Trifecta #47.

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14 Responses to Epiphany in Ebony

  1. I just read the word “sable” a little while ago. I’m almost finished with Hamlet. I love that in your first line, you express that the black “clothing” is worn on the inside. Also, she is wearing an assortment of things: raindrops (tears), memory, mourning, silk. She wears her emotions, mostly painful. But no matter what she feels, there is a silkiness wrapped around her heart that somehow saves her. I think it is her poetic spirit.

    These are my favorites:
    “Memory mourning silk.”
    “folds her paper hands into loose lilies”

    I think she is mourning their relationship, feeling that it is dead. But after praying and releasing her pain to God, she is able to ask her husband to come back because it’s the right thing to do.

    But the first way I read this is that the woman is actually already dead, her heart broken by the separation from her lover. But now he is dying, and so she is “calling him home” from heaven. I think she’s reluctant to embrace the whiteness and holiness of the afterlife and “argues storms” with God. She is the only soul in heaven dressed in black because she loves him that much. Maybe her paper hands do her some good and God concedes, allowing her sweetheart to come to her. 🙂

    I just love “paper hands.” First of all, she feels like paper, like nothingness, lighter than air. And also, I think she sees her prayers as being weak—like the times when prayers are more like wails, whispers, or water than they are like words. Or maybe she doesn’t feel like she deserves to pray. But somehow, she turns all of that inadequacy into lilies, and her prayers are answered.

    Two of your shortest lines combined form “silk stands.” What a beautiful image, silk standing as if it is hard and strong when it is nothing but soft and weak. There is obviously magic or supernatural power involved in this infusion of strength.

    • De Jackson says:

      I cannot even begin to tell you how happy your thoughts make me, when you read my stuff. It always reveals things I hadn’t even thought of on a conscious level, tickles me pink when you find things I hoped were tucked in there, and often reads like a poem in and of itself. You rock my world, chica.

  2. Misky says:

    I’m not sure why but this poem gave me a shiver. I’ve read it several times, and each time I’m completely rivetted to it.

    • De Jackson says:

      Awwww, thanks, Misky. That’s quite a compliment. 😉
      It wants to be a few words shorter, but needs to be 33 for Trifecta’s challenge. I will most likely revise this one a tiny bit, before sending it anywhere.

  3. kgwaite says:

    This is lovely. I love argues storms.

  4. Did you notice that “epiphany” is also epi-fanny? And with a slight alteration, epic fanny. That is my primary life goal. 😉

  5. Sara V says:

    Love that fold her paper hands into loose lillies–mmm wonderful wonderful wonderful!!!

  6. Brian Benoit says:

    There’s a lot of bad poetry floating about out there — and this is far far from it. Great sound, meter and read. “She argues storms” was such a great turn. Nicely done!

  7. Annabelle says:

    That’s really beautiful. The language is so perfect all the way through that I’m having trouble picking a favorite phrase.

  8. The part about “arguing storms” best. I think. But I’m with Annabelle. It’s really hard to choose a single image.

  9. I echo the sentiment about the she argues storms line. Beautiful. Thanks for playing along with us again this week. Be sure to come on back soon.

  10. ‘A vast and empty sable sky’ stays with me. Lovely. Congrats on your mention.

  11. paulsmum2001 says:

    I love how people can look at this at so many angles. This was one of the first Trifecta stories / poems I read this week, and it stuck with me. Congratulations on Trifecta.

  12. De Jackson says:

    Thank you all so much for your kind words. 🙂

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