Today's poem is by Marjorie Maddox

Orpheus: the Fugitive Kind
        for Tennessee Williams

I. Descending

Birds the color of sky flap their notes of freedom,
accompany your only companion of string-sung love
that serenades all the female living. Snakeskin,
listen to your own soul: all that is wild howls for release
and still you descend degree by degree
to thaw the frozen lady married to Hades' home
fires. The path is cold and winding. How long
can machismo strum its fiery truth,
can the music of your muscles
lift up the bitten in its Blues?

2. Ascending

All answers come in the seduction ofloneliness,
the turn of the neck, the twist of the body,
the sweet lure to save what's fallen
behind, or—like Eurydice, like Lot's wife, like Lady—
the consummating desire to see
once more a charred orchard that smolders
between the notes almost above
the Underworld, where, yes,
even the blue jays now sing
a southern dirge for the fugitive
and the fetus.

Copyright © 2016 Marjorie Maddox All rights reserved
from True, False, None of the Above
Cascade Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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