Saturday, February 7, 2015

Poem of the Day: “All His Pretty Gypsies” by Marge Simon

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “All His Pretty Gypsies” by Marge Simon.  Marge Simon's works appears in publications such as Strange Horizons, DailySF Magazine, Pedestal, and Dreams & Nightmares. She edits a column for the Horror Writers Association Newsletter, "Blood & Spades: Poets of the Dark Side," and serves as the HWA Chair of the Board of Trustees. She won the Strange Horizons Readers Choice Award in 2010, and the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Dwarf Stars Award in 2012. She has won three Bram Stoker Awards for Superior Work in Poetry and has poetry in HWA's Simon & Schuster collection, It's Scary Out There. Marge also has poems in Darke Phantastique and Qualia Nous collections. Visit her at:

All His Pretty Gypsies
Marge Simon

In his eyes a universe,
candlelight is such a color.
He confounds me, so few
wonders in this world.
There he sits, hand on chin,
staring into the flames.
There is a covenant
between gypsy women.
still as dust, darker than shadows,
they speak in tongues.

"Who are you talking to?" I say,
setting the tea tray down.
I fill his cup, add a drop of cream.

bracelets jangle
shatter the perfect silence
eyes like pewter,
a burnished gray

"You wouldn't understand," he says.

She comes nude to my bed
and with warm hair and mouth
folds in on me ...

"Who is she this time?" I ask.
my fingers trace the curved arms
of my grandfather's favorite chair.
It is my chair. It is the only thing
I own that I won't surrender.
lovely Esmeralda,
dark, lithe, of night and moon,
a fallen raven 

I wait until he dozes off,
adjust his shawl before I go
with taper to an empty bed;
he sleeps so peacefully,
all his pretty gypsies
dancing in the flames.

Poet’s Notes:  In my poems, I often take mind-trips into domestic situations--be it a "period piece" or otherwise. Sometimes it is an apocalyptic situation, but not in this case. This is about a marriage that has gone stale, perhaps because tending to her husband has taken all she has, all her time and energies to keep him happy. The only thing she has that she refuses to part with is her grandfather's chair. In a sense, it is what is left of her identity as a woman, a person with feelings. He stares into the fire dreaming of young women, doesn't notice her there. However, you may see it differently. Let the poem talk to you and see how you perceive it. Once written, a poem belongs to all readers for translation.

Editor’s Note:  I’ll admit I read this poem differently--as a granddaughter musing about her grandfather, an elderly gentleman, perhaps the victim of a stroke or dementia, there but not present.  No matter the interpretation, the language and imagery here create a gorgeous dream-like quality.

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