Garden of Curse (Mary McGowan)



Contrary Girl she called me, my mother’s favorite taunt.

I dreamed of opened walls and cockled shell

With smiling maids about and company to flaunt,

Flung back in to her mocking face, to tell her ride to hell—

Sadly bricked and walled within, as Poe and Queen of Scots

My tell-tale heart urged firmly on to blessed liberty.

Picked within my prison cell the true forget-me knots

And swung a swing to strangle life so hated, beggary.

The silver bells she played so well are stilled within her hands;

They’ll ring no more for daughter scorned, the ugly, mirrored Mary.

The parent cursed the family name but sand’s run out for reprimands

Her garden’s thronged with bare, raised mounds and yet so solitary.

   So sad this tune to seven times

   Of curse to pay for other’s crimes.

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