What I remember most would have to be
They were fashioned from ice
And their black depths were emptiness.
Ice, black ice.
She wore a gown
One that feather out to a full skirt
Of black iciness.
Her skin was glazed porcelain,
Her hair a platinum nest.
I knew when I first saw her
That coming near her
Would be a fatal mistake
But my sister found her enchanting
And that trance was a murder weapon.
I only remember one other thing about her:
A dragonfly ring the size of a tumor
Soaked in blood, dominating three fingers.
That woman, I suppose,
Was completely built from ice.
I don’t even want to know how she built it
But my new stepmother
Something made out of bones
It starts as a choker, thick and resting below her chin
It snakes down to cover her like a halter top would
Well, more like a scarf
Because it covers her breasts and leaves the heart exposed
Then it keeps going down, down
And drops off around her thighs
Long thin bones loop around her shoulder like strings, a tie
And is covered by a fur coat
Draped around her
As if it’s doing any good against November’s wrath.
My new stepmother
Never was afraid of intimidation.
Intimidation is afraid of her.
And, somehow, I’m not afraid of anything anymore.
Sphere of Feathers
A work of splendor,
God’s personal masterpiece.
As tall and as wide as a treetop song.
White as a winter morning
But only in the center
Gray goose down on the bottom
Blue tinged on the top half.
Extravagant enough to drown out anything,
The woman it shelters, on the other hand…
A plain creature of no spectacles, average beauty
The cape this showwoman has donned
Doesn’t match who she is.
Which makes them both far more beautiful to me.
How sad, how tragic,
How tragically sad.
A girl with not fifteen summers of life
Holding a nation’s affairs on her ebony shoulders.
Such a pretty young thing,
Strongminded and headstrong.
And a truly sweet flower.
That head is far too young for that crown
But not a thing is to be done
To stop this flower from being crushed
Without crushing her petals in the process.
If ever there was a spirit divine,
One force to rule all else,
He has spoken;
He has crowned his earthly queen.
Her throne carved of stone
And her face carved with courage,
She bade the storm quiet
And all the earth knew silence.
A doe at her feet, and sparrow on her arm,
Her Excellence sweeps away the troubles
With a wave of her delicate pearl hand.
Her eyes are hazel, burning to rival any ruby.
With ears so small she hears but all.
The queen, in comfortable solitude
More gold on her arms than in any treasury
That this state has ever known.
More kohl in her eyes
Than coal in any of the nation’s mines.
Her crown with gilded leaves,
Outshone by the melted gold on sharpened thorns,
Is one to rival the King of Jews himself.
And surely her bands are enough
To stop a gladiator in his tracks.
But it is her empire
That gives this femme fatale her magnificent pride
She cares not for her possessions
Only for her people,
For the men who ride behind her
Against anyone foolish enough to oppose.
She cares for her castle, a fortress of grandeur
And for the high court leading her world.
She cares not for shining armor
But for their knights, standing atop the walls
She cares not for her crown but for her throne
And not for any prince but her own son.
She cares for the Empire.
Pamela, the Polaroid.
My sister is a beauty,
A photographer, an artist
And the best subject imaginable.
She is the main attraction of my coffee shop,
She’s the mainstay of Main Street.
Unlike every other woman I know,
She only carries her camera and her dignity.
And the gaze of a mirror;
Her plaid shirt, oversized even when it was mine.
A pair of tights earning their title
And sky-high leather boots, a rocker’s staple.
A cheesy beret, our mother’s bracelet.
Blonde locks like there are teardrops on her guitar.
And to complete the classic ensemble, Satan’s prized pearls:
The cheshire cat smile.
All tucked behind her expensive-as-hell camera.
And her phone, case with white box and black bow.
Just like my baby sister,
A photograph with a black bow.
Mahogany skin, must be freshly polished for the way it shines.
Built tall, wide, strong. Must be the perfect tree for climbing.
Keen, sharp eyes denoting the scholastic decathlon trophies at home.
A pink drink in her hands. A black bag on her arm.
Her life is so full. And her face is so calm.
A true lady of mid-twentieth century perfection,
Everything about her is prim and proper:
Her soft skirt, baby blue and fresh from tea,
Her pristine blouse, white lace and tickling the neck,
Hands folded in her lap and angled to heaven.
No one would know.
She isn’t fresh from tea with Mother and Grandmother
She’s fresh from playing fast and loose
With three dead men.
She is perfection for a young lady
And ideal for a murder
Because you’d never know what lies beneath what you see.
And there you have it. Very different women, all multi-faceted and strong female characters.