Snow White and Psyche in Autumn

by Honor Moore


I woke and again my eyes were gold,
lids keeping light to a slice, the world
shrinking and veering. Fearful

of stumbling, at first I imagined
my skin had slipped from the platform
but when the train left, all that remained

was a comb melted, shape of a rail.
I could no longer remember the smell
of my mother, the black of her hair

that so thrilled me as a girl.  At first
when I tried, the seal of my right eye
seemed to give, but when I opened further

the pain increased, slits of light sprung
from the mirror, every reflection
deepening the cut.

Even now, when the looking
glass blackens, my eyelids clink shut,
leaving the air ringing as bracelets do,

the gold bangles she never took off.



She has never seen his face
though her fingers recognize the skin –
gutters of grief, and at his mouth
scars of pleasure.

When she wakes, shade of smoke,

the lamp still unlit as dawn
rises, her nightgown slung, door
open, and on the blue table
a basket of apples.


Memoir: Poems, The Bishop’s Daughter, The White Blackbird by Honor Moore