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secondhand sunlight
through a casement shoots
shivers straight into her bones,
a gravestone cold
of exposed hilltops
and broken-down ploughs.

her view takes in the frosted
counterpane of fields,
hedgerows, carriages,
clergy and conformity.

her words thaw the barren land,
expose the narrow insularity
of a town built on niceties
and frozen birthday candle wishes.
she disdains that chill
undergarment, civility, bucks
at the taut reins of convention.

redemption is
a sentence strung
just so – and hung –
a lantern on a branch ,
chasing shadows into the dark
corners of the yard,
beaming brightness
into cloistered
secrets of the heart.

her pen a wand
that touches all with wonder.
an intellect so finely spun
it seeks its own society,
subsists on solitude,
shuns the ebb and flow,
the shallow soirées
of polite parlours.

her difference – once dared –
stands free and tall
and unabashed,
virginal and proud
clad all in white –
the colour of obstinacy.

there is no manual
to the heart
no rules are written down
a spirit’s wild desire,
a restless soul,
craves reciprocity,
her candle a naked flame
of longing held in check.

she has scaled the wall
of her captivity,
the disadvantages
of gender, to soar free,
to hover, iridescent,
a dragonfly on the breeze,
and release her passion
in a torrent of free verse.

and so – she writes,
in earnest fervour
like the sun –
to break the dawn
in splendour.


Picture from Emily Dickinson Museum.