The Curse

Unmasked by Michael Whelan (Pastels and Watercolor on an Acrylic Splash on Pastel Paper), 2011

It was the panther
she reached for.

My mother gave it to her.

Before she took her first breath
it bit her

in her cradle, in besotted arms,
no protection afforded (VISA’s terms
of use) from shadowed purity
from fatal slumber.

It took her a way
and then away.

The way back was a narrow gate,
blood of the Immortal in the mortal
through whom she found her freedom.

Doing cartwheels
on a blade, she lives,
a trust unbroken,
bless that day.

Passage: Verge, Michael Whelan (acrylic on canvas), 1989

GirlieOnTheEdge's Six Sentence Story ("Visa") and Shay's Word Garden List ("purity," "mortal," "blade," "cartwheels")

22 thoughts on “The Curse

    1. It actually made me think immediately of the first death, a murder by a brother of his brother, Cain and Abel. In Genesis 4:10, “The LORD said, ‘What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.'”

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Wow, this is something, Dora! First off, the art is truly amazing. I am not familiar with the artist, but that first image is genuinely terrifying, and the second depicts a counterbalancing sense of peace and calm. I had to read your poem three times before it began to come together for me, and when it did, i felt as if I’d entered a room i know well. A curse laid before the first step is taken, and then, a gate out, and at the same time in–to an undreamt of different life. Or so I read. It’s a poem of redemption.


    Liked by 3 people

  2. Margaret Schaff Bednar

    doomed from the beginning, but an immortal grace with that bite… ? The imagery is so horrifying in the beginning – both done by the same artist. Interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Evocative poem, Dora.
    And so well paired with the art you have chosen-I find no surprise those two artworks are from the same artist; light and darkness equally explored.
    “…a way…and then away…” !!!

    Liked by 2 people

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