We who wander in the orchard are lost,  
howling with owls,
these embittered nights
among twisted apple trees.

Body parts sloughed as we slumber:
the busy din 
of scalpel bearers saving lives.
Lest we forget.

I never knew that mourning is 
a private act
a spiral inwards for strength 
and these dictionaries 

we call souls. To find meaning
(the orchardist says) 
unskin a star, it’s tear drop points 
an uncanny compass

showing five ways outwards.
For we must out
like the hermit crab. A tiny cone 
no matter how safe

does not admit the world.

Written for Earthweal’s prompt “Approaching Samhain”

36 thoughts on “Mastectomy

  1. I’m with Sarah, the precision in naming this godsforaking territory is, um, scalpel-sharp. As part of the chorus whose understanding can only be abstract (castration’s sear might be close), all I can say is bless your angels/devils for creating a much clearer (and terrifying) map.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I gather this poem didn’t work for you. But from the extent of your comment I can’t really figure out where the problem is so I don’t know how to respond. Thanks for taking the time to read it more than once.


  2. A wonderfully imaginative write. The orchard theme is potent for me, as apples are a part of my Samhain childhood memories. Interestingly the inside of an apple, sliced in two, reveals a five pointed star at its core.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, Paul. I’d never heard of Samhain until this year. But I read on the earthweal prompt about the apples and the five pointed star and that lovely image found its way into my poem. Thank you for reading.


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