Ophelia

Oh, how overdone
I am, swamp-logged,
blue-lipped. Poets
invoke my pickled virginity.
All my life: “I know not
what to say, my lord.”
Now I know. Little girls
want to be me on Halloween,
wrapping themselves in weeds
and torn lingerie. I never
owned a white brocade
anything. But somehow
I am their adolescent
anthem, the early pure
death, flower-drowned,
bound in my own braids.
It’s embarrassing. Their reedy
legs remind me of herons
in the marsh where I was found,
my hymen grown soggy
and pecked out by a beak.
Death consummates,
not consecrates, even me,
fifteen and spot-faced.
Bride of a bird. Bride
of mud. Spare me Mr.
Millais and his Pre-Raphaelite
pomposity. I never
looked half so good dry.

 

AmandaWilliamsenB&W (2)Amanda Williamsen has recently relocated to Bainbridge Island, Washington, where she plans to write a poem for every day that it rains, and maybe for some sunny days, too.  She is lately of Cupertino, CA, where she served briefly as that city’s Poet Laureate, and she’s a native of Ohio, where she grew up along the Maumee River.  Her favorite activities include canoeing, gardening with her family, taking cat naps next to a cat, and purchasing fireworks at roadside stands with the intent to drive them over state lines.  She has taught writing and literature at secondary schools and universities, and her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Baltimore Review, New Ohio Review, Midwestern Gothic, and The Fabulist.  She earned her B.A. at Wittenberg University and her M.A. from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins.

Amanda Williamsen
Amanda Williamsen has recently relocated to Bainbridge Island, Washington, where she plans to write a poem for every day that it rains, and maybe for some sunny days, too. She is lately of Cupertino, CA, where she served briefly as that city’s Poet Laureate, and she’s a native of Ohio, where she grew up along the Maumee River. Her favorite activities include canoeing, gardening with her family, taking cat naps next to a cat, and purchasing fireworks at roadside stands with the intent to drive them over state lines. She has taught writing and literature at secondary schools and universities, and her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Baltimore Review, New Ohio Review, Midwestern Gothic, and The Fabulist. She earned her B.A. at Wittenberg University and her M.A. from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins.

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