Oct/Nov 2003 Poetry Special Feature

From the Tower

by Jennifer Finstrom

Photo-Art by Tara Gilbert-Brever


From the Tower

The trilling of the birds
surrounds her in manic stereo,
and though they are the only
living things that want nothing
from her, some mornings
she waits out the sun,
arms wrapping her head
like a dormant seed.

Her hands form binoculars
to watch how he is gauging
the tower's height, measuring
in his mind the length
of her hair, its rope-like
strength, the bright yellow fall
of its ability to buoy up this story,
keep it from plummeting
to a green and herby death among
baby lettuces, the lacey tops
of carrots that cushion nothing.

A knock sounds. The witch
is at the door, jealous and aware
that trouble is brewing, fermenting
into something that she knows
she cannot drink. Far below,
the prince is crushing fragrant mint
beneath the heels of his boots.


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