Frankie’s Poem

Die with it in you, he said,
and so I did, quiet,
the way women should.

That ballad they say I sang
was never mine.  If they would not
let me speak of why I grasped that axe,
how could they  let me sing?

What words could I own
to speak of the pieces they found,
in staggered stages
requiring three graves?

No, I carried that secret; his, mine, ours–
the blood of it heavier than iron, with me
into air, and later freed back to earth,
which accepts everything, that place
where all we know and do not speak
waits to be uncovered by those
who will never flesh out fossilized pain
or read the voice of it,
scribed in the center of old bone.

Based (loosely) on the story of Frankie Silver

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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13 Responses to Frankie’s Poem

  1. Alice Keys says:

    “If they would not
    let me speak of why I grasped that axe,
    how could they let me sing?”

    What a fabulous line this is. It speaks a universal truth out of a specific person and event.This poem digs deep. It’s filthy with the bloody, gory truth of existence. Yum! You rang my chimes with this one, Susan.

    • Alice, thanks so much for saying that! I was watching a marathon of junk TV with my daughter last night, and they re-created this gory, horrible story…it turned my muse 😉

      So glad you liked this.

  2. Heartafire says:

    amazing writing!

  3. …still hiding in the corner…i think i just crawled a little deeper into it…

    • Hee, hee. No worries, Crabcakes. This one just jumped out at me after an evening of junk TV with my daughter. You should see the schmaltzy crap they said she composed and sang. Almost worse than the murder.

      Darn–why do we use schmaltzy to describe something bad–I love chicken fat…

  4. This cuts in a very swift sound that’s soundless ~ Blessings dear

  5. Heartafire says:

    I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Should you accept, please follow the link below. I enjoy visiting this blog and reading your work. Thank you and well done.

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