Common Wood-Nymph by Kristin Garth

Common Wood-Nymph

 

Camouflages freckled cheeks, while you,

around a slender trunk, would peek. Beige winged.

the moth against your youthful face, just two

common wood nymphs, inside this sacred space,

 

unrecognizable as divine. Hide

behind a longleaf pine to watch a herd

of flower-faced deer first panic, collide,

abruptly disappear. No noise is heard

 

of human feet. A profile view, no eyes

will meet sister’s suitor, the blooming one

whose buzzing almost hypnotized

you until his gesture towards the sun

 

delays its evanescence, darkened sky.

Neither human, common, but he must die.

 

Author’s Note:

 

This was the final poem I wrote for Flutter: Southern Gothic

Fever Dream. I turn this manuscript in on Monday to my editor,

and I’m beyond excited to let it Flutter into the world. It is inspired

by the longleaf woods I live inside. It is also inspired by the imagination

that frees us from the limitations of the physical body. This sonnet takes

place when two characters invented by the informed adolescent Sylvia

Dandridge at last meet. The boyish bee demon Etienne has played a

role in the protagonist’s sister’s death, and she had sought him for some

revenge. She observes him collecting information on her enemy that confirms

he is a supernatural entity. Though Fey knows she is but a common wood

nymphlike the moth who camouflages her face during her surveillance,

she is determined to kill this devil who she believes killed her sister.

kristin october