The Beggarmaid Speaks
You’d already given her Knaves and Queens,
talking hares and smoking caterpillars.
Certainly you could have saved a King for me, Lutwidge?
I am the dirt under her milk-white feet,
the moss she daren’t stain her rags
with where she rests her smooth-tressed head.
I am the grubs that eat the columbine.
I am the mason’s callouses that still rest between the married stone.
I am the pins that hold the ripped dress modestly in place.
But I am rusted and bent –
I’ve never seen the inside of a hat,
been kissed by a dressmaker’s lips,
or held a broken corset stay,
resting my head sweetly against perfumed skin.
She who dares the camera to look,
who holds the world in her palm,
an empty space waiting to be filled,
while I watch through a chink in the wall.
Leslie Rzeznik is a poet living in Michigan. She’s a Reiki Master, medicinal herbalist, intuitive, empath, and tarot reader of 30 years. She’s an elder in the Romuva (Lithuanian Indigenous) religion and she’s been published in Alyss, Bone Bouquet, Sling Magazine, Thank you for Swallowing, and Bear River Review.