by Lynne Sargent
I met Daphne in the woods today.
She was clutching her stomach,
holding tight the things that were left to her.
The gnarls of her bark gripped tenuously to the gap
of innocence that remained.
She stood strong,
roots tangled in a pedestal of mud,
her atop it all-exposed
like she would not have wanted.
But I had brought only an apology, and not a shovel
so I could not shore up the remnants of her maidenhead,
could not build muddy walls
to keep this place clean.
I give this repentance to the ants,
so perhaps they might carve it into you, Daphne,
with their hunger and their teeth.
So perhaps someday when the rest of the world comes
to chop you down they will read that I was wrong, and so
they will change your form again.
They will turn you into a chair, or a cabinet,
or a boat; Finally, you will be inviolate
and the forest will remember the rest.
Lynne Sargent is a writer, and circus artist based in the Hamilton area. She holds an MA in philosophy from McMaster University, specializing in bioethics. She is a lover of all things fey, strange, and bloody. She is a novice writer, specializing in poetry and fairytales.