i’m no kind of Ishmael to expound
some great protagonist’s wayward saga,
& haven’t the slightest inkling of other
women’s misfortunes, nor do i know
if i’m even justified in such grief over a life
squandered on an endless vigil’s cries of
who sees me now? & now? & now?
who, besides this mirror i face,
knows my bulging litany of failures,
my spurious assumption of a character i detest?
i was born lacking the power
to reason my way out of this gravitational
force i’ve abhorred since youth, & which
now condemns me to lug about my globed
to bear these adjuncts’ fleshy heft, as if I were
still umbilically moored to the gangway by my own
each a whale of white with its vacant eye
downcast like a faded damask rose.
STEPHANIE L. HARPER
“Legacy” made its debut appearance in Underfoot Poetry, and is the opening poem of my forthcoming chapbook collection, The Death’s-Head’s Testament, scheduled for release from Main Street Rag in March 2019, and available for advance orders NOW at a substantial discount ($6.50 per copy!). Please consider purchasing a copy of my book (click link above), and/or sharing my author page with your online communities to help get the word out! I am forever grateful for all of your support of my work!
__________cover photo by Matthew Harper