You said the gold I found would be my own.
I find the yellow leaves of liquidambar
on the grounds of the asylum. The gardener says
they come from America, these sweetgum trees.
He likes their leaves like great green hands.
Fallen, like golden handprints. I look at my own,
how strong they were, how they shaped clay
and held tools. I climbed ladders like branches
to smooth shoulders of stone. I put a shield
in Perseus’s hand to make the Gorgon see
herself: a little of me, a little of Rose.
Jessie came and took a picture. You’re dead
now. You are long dead, a troll in light.
Solidified. And so am I. A woman
of cold, white stone. A woman without
a shadow, or all in shadow. Which am I?
When we dead awaken, what will we find
in our hands? Leaves of gold, a rising mist?
Kathleen Kirk is the author of five poetry chapbooks, most recently Interior Sculpture: poems in the voice of Camille Claudel (Dancing Girl Press, 2014) and Nocturnes (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012), with a sixth, The ABCs of Women’s Work, forthcoming from Red Bird in 2015. Her work appears in many journals, including Arsenic Lobster, Poetry East, Redheaded Stepchild, Stirring, and Wicked Alice. She is the poetry editor for Escape Into Life. The poems featured here were commissioned by Columbus Dance Theatre for the world premier of Claudel, a dance, theatre, and music collaboration. Kathleen blogs at her accidental blog, Wait! I Have a Blog?! http://kathleenkirkpoetry.blogspot.com/
Donna Vorreyer is the author of A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013) as well as six chapbooks, most recently Encantado, a collaboration with artist Matt Kish from Redbird Chapbooks forthcoming in April. She is an assistant poetry editor for Extract(s), and her second collection is forthcoming from Sundress Publications in 2016.