Titania's Dream
by Sonya Taaffe



     She leaned in on him from year to year,

     glancing as the moon through a late-slipped latch

     at the withering of apples, the spring of anemones,

     the shuttle tightening ceaselessly flax on flax.

     Handfast in garlands of hedge-rose, he wed

     a sun-marred woman to her wrists in mending,

     yet not unkind when he shivered up at daybreak

     to douse his head of dreams: nights he brawled

     in the borrowed rhyme and swagger of heroes

     unknown from Athens to Avon, but next she spied

     from mist-strung gossamers, the girl walking

     grave and restive with an apronful of cherries

     likened to none of his hectoring shyness save

     her eyes, dark as dusk in June. Cow parsley,

     the rusting of clipped coin. Weeds by the door

     brimmed with rain, each cold and autumnal drop

     glittering like love-tokens on sleeve and shin

     netted him less hardly than time; his hands

     raw-knuckled and wrinkling as his own linen,

     his upstart hair as frost and charcoal now

     as the Midas ears she had caressed in dotage

     among the cowslips. Nor his heart to report

     what my dream was . . . Untold of its secrets,

     she touched his fond and fallen, mayfly face

     once and lastly, as lightly as the small rain

     she faded between. The wind through the skene

     of ivy and honeysuckle cried rag-and-bone.



About the Author:

Sonya Taaffe has a confirmed addiction to myth, folklore, and dead languages. Her poem “Matlacihuatl’s Gift” shared first place for the 2003 Rhysling Award, and poems and short stories of hers have been been nominated for the Gaylactic Spectrum Award, the Pushcart Prize, and the Locus Award, shortlisted for the SLF Fountain Award, and honorably mentioned in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. A respectable amount of her short fiction and poetry can be found in Postcards from the Province of Hyphens and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books). She holds master's degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale.


Poem © 2008 Sonya Taaffe. Painting by Sir Joseph Noel Patton, 1846.