Mary Angela Douglas
A Sparkling Ensued
Poem by Mary Angela Douglas
to my sister, Sharon,
and all her glistening music
go deeper into the woods soothed my pages,
butterfly fluttering from the rose of peeling shelves.
and in no breeze at all,
a sparkling ensued.
a sparkling ensued and all the golden paths were opened;
though whether their gold was sunlit or was You, dear God,
could I even imagine.
it was You. and a sparkling ensued. and I went farther back
as though instructed, you know, to that part of the fairy tale
where all is about to go well if you will only listen.
you will only listen
and a glistening ensued.
and the woods were so much greener than we remembered:
in full summer, when we peeked through our fingers to see
falling snows and you felt like lace.
you felt like lace;
never losing your place in the story
once you'd begun, reminded someone dressed in lilac,
in a peaked hat, shimmering,
as I longed to be-
all alone on a nursery stage proclaiming: I am the princess
who could not smile until my baby sister piped like
a silver bird crying, angela, don't cry!
we'll go like the children hand in hand
through deeper woods than these
guarded by angels
where the roses foam in the moonlight
to the play house we know is there,
pink coated in candy sunlight
with a green awning.
then, the breeze is awake-
like it's Christmas day.
and we're the flower girls at the weddings
where Grandmother played Mendelsohnn
for all those brides.
or in pale Easter dresses
on the Other Side
in new bonnets with the sprigged cherries.
mary angela douglas 12 july 2014
Note on the poem: My sister is a pianist. I remember her playing Chopin for hours barely out of grade school, and the shimmering cascade of sound. When we were younger in nursery school I gave a convincing performance of the fairytale 'The Princess Who Never Smiled' and cried (like one of our dolls) , real tears. Alarmed, my little sister stood up from the crowd and comforted me.
My Grandmother was a piano teacher and an organist who played for the weddings of all her older pupils and others at our church. My sister and I lamented we were only the 'rice girls' when it was the custom, to throw rice at the weddings.
We longed to be flower girls in long dresses, scattering the rose petals wildly.
We threw the rice very hard, however, in huge handfuls, so that the brides complained and then we were just free to enjoy the candied mints and nuts at the receptions.
And the lime sherbet punch in the cut glass bowl. I wish I had some now.
In my dream of Heaven in this poem I have changed us into the flower girls. But the brides should have let us throw flowers instead of rice and then they wouldn't have had anything to worry about.
(We threw the rice hard because we thought it would bring them more luck. I have no idea what put that into our heads.)
'pages' in the first line in the meaning of pages of a book and also in the meaning of 'pages' from the King's court, messengers (in this case, of course, since we are speaking in fairytalese, they are winged messengers)
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