a fable

packing:
three pears, a small bag of pumpkin seeds.
a smooth, wood-handled pocketknife,
and two crystals, white and rose.
a pair of scissors, a length of ribbon,
leather slippers and a thick shawl.
a scuffed, stickered and stamped suitcase.

the old woman stepped into the bustling street
and locked her red door behind her.

when she returned in the evening,
thick ivy cradled the empty window boxes
and smothered the chimney.
her hair was glossy black, her skin smooth.
the suitcase sprung open, tumbling
one thousand white peonies over the name
carved into the marble-slab doorstep.

—Linnea Lieth

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