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I Too Was Loved By Daphne

Judith Baumel
Daphne was known within these doors
And to these streets. Lovely her humor and lovely her smile
We tear our garments and sit on low boxes
Let's see who can sing the best story.

Amaryllis
I will praise as best I can
Taking my turn to raise our Daphne up
Among the stars, Daphne shall be high
Among the stars; I too was loved by Daphne.

Lycoris
Morning coffee bitter and milky with gossip.
Our mothers still offering worried apposite
Instructions. We'd gather the awful scraps 
At the kitchen table and smooth them flat.   

Cytheris
Why do I care that she was still beautiful
Yesterday in this last photo—Daphne's pearly skin 
And delicate frozen face tilting up between 
Her boy and girl, between her next-to-last and last breath.

Delia
One autumn hayride into the apple picking orchard
We locked shoulders, bowed our heads in talk, then heard
Calling, weeping in the dappling light. Left behind, 
Our little boys were searching for us hand in hand.

Nysa
Who was there when Daphne's hands stopped
Closing? Where was fate when Daphne's tongue
Thickened and set in her mouth. Or the breezes
When Daphne's  muscles no longer moved her lungs?

Phyllis
Mornings on the Palisade greenway, the path
A jumble of undergrowth and branches and glass,
We walked and talked and thought, but it wasn't true,
That my life was closing down and hers was blazing anew.

Copyright © 2010 by Judith Baumel. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2010 by Judith Baumel. Used with permission of the author.

Judith Baumel