She riddened herself
Into a shaft of night,
Her lips ironed into a frozen grin
By the cold.
Her mossy stockings gaped
At the heels,
And a jersey dripped about her;
A loose cobweb of wound red wool.
Her creak;as if the final
From a strangled heart.
Frost waxed fingers tipped a candle
As if it was graven from a stick of sulfur,
While one leg
Desperately kneaded a dead other.
Her lips smeared mist
And stirred as if to melt.
"Buy the candle," she said,
Offering it dryly
Like the rosary of a beggar's religion.
If only the pocket of the heart
Was of worldly worth,
Then a man starved and shoeless
Would be a nugget well polished for hell.
But the wings of this tide
Beat the hapless way,
And a pout such as yours
May forever be suppled with hay.