an inverted-initial-terminal after Gwen Harwood
Smell this flesh, you’ll know me, I
by whose hand you fed oft, her
thigh you’d lay your head on and rank
well high of beds is mine and her
bowl you’d lick clean daily, mine, but
down here, pinned by your barefoot,
townspeople’s screams ring out for our
soul you’ve ripped in two, brute.
Sheathed is my dart-gun for until,
feet pulled from under me, clasped in
unreal deadlocked power, I
breathed a plea just now (my head,
meat) I thought we’d live… but our
meal this hour ends all to come.
Each line of the above poem begins with the final word of the same line in the great Tasmanian poet Gwen Harwood’s “The Lion’s Bride” and ends with the first word.
Harwood’s sonnet is from the point of view of the lion (who knows not what he does); the above sonnet is from the point of view of the bride, as she is eaten by him.