WHEN SHE LEFT

by Kevin McAuley

She wore a necklace of tiny suns. They trailed
Yellow smoke, as she ran. He was running after
Her, trying to avoid the colored hands that
Grabbed at his ankles from out of the thick, low mist.
Behind him, the past was swallowing his footsteps.
 

She stood in her death robe, a basket of snakes
In her arms, a mask carved in bone on her hip.
Her nails were painted with blood and fingers were
Tangled in her hair. When he asked her not to go,
 

She turned her face to the north, where already
Snowclouds were gathering like armies, and the dusk
Crouched low, tensed and ready to leap. 

Poem copyright © 1994 Kevin McAuley.
 

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