March 20, 2020

“…but am small, like the Wren, and my Hair is bold, like the Chestnut bur—

and my eyes, like the Sherry in the Glass, that the guest leaves—…”

~ Emily Dickinson

March 20, 2020

Dear _____,

…petite like an Arabian horse compared to a thoroughbred. My Hair is brunette, frizzy like a Weathered Cloud. Fiery highlights ignite Curls like a Match to Candle. Hazel eyes change color as quick as a sail upon wind during a Gale. My body mimics an hour glass, Sands of Time show a life lived—still hoping to see more. Its roundness comes from childbirth, food, and Italian genetics. My Breasts, like storm waves beneath clavicle, guard heart space. My arms are not long nor graceful like a ballerina, they are strong enough to carry pain, lithe enough to offer a hug to my children. My Eyes are wrinkled from writing and writing and editing as Poets or Teachers do. My ribs shelter breath as a Wren shelters her eggs with wing and song—nestling away from Uncertainty; wish I may hide away from Coronavirus, it’s devouring the world. It’ll Steal my lungs, it’ll Steal my loved ones. My tummy is anxious—rumbles—like soft Aftershocks from a significant Earthquake. My Nether regions aren’t Hell—they’re life and shelter protected by plump legs, muscled, robust enough to ride my horse into battle. Ankles twist like snakes and Connect to feet that carry me wherever I go—in these Uncertain Times—at this moment—a Tremendous Gift!

*This piece is inspired by an excerpt from a letter (L268) written by Emily Dickinson to her friend Thomas Wentworth Higginson (July 1862)

©Gina Marselle, 2020

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