Two dragonflies, black bodies
like air-borne twigs, or hedge-thorns,
prefer the near end of the recently
dug-up pond. Their rapid wings
blur like the glittering onset
of a thundershower. Probing
at things, they dart, in and away,
edgy like needles disquieting the air,
stitching their fate around them
with tiny bolts, forks of lightning.
And now they‘re mating!
Grasping her with a spiny arm,
knight-errant in plated amour,
he nests his lacquered, wormlike
body over hers, unsheathing
his onyx dagger, as yellowed lily pads
sink below their ancient tryst,
like some lost Avalon, or the circular
city of Ys, its gold and coppery walls
listing beneath the waves.
Or are they Étaín and Mider
who wooed her for 1,000 years
and 12 more? Ceaselessly, Mider
pursued her through lashing storms,
raised by his jealous Druid wife
who had turned Étaín into a fly,
the most winsome of flies. Her eyes,
black diamonds, her papery wings,
perfumed fans, their fragrance
sates every hunger, every thirst.
Weaponry in hand, Mider seizes
Étaín, hoists her into the sky;
they circle dreamily over hill-fort,
moats, and blue-black pond.
Her spangled wings clack and throb,
sun rays shivering along them.
Fiery drops of dew bead
their glassy fibers, rainbows arcing
off their scales. Shed from them,
a sprinkling of these drops
heals all they touch.
[Teaching academic and creative writing at McGill University, Charlotte Hussey has published Rue Sainte Famille, which was short listed for the QSPELL Awards, and The Head Will Continue to Sing. Her poems have appeared in Canada and abroad in such publications as: The Antigonish Review; Arc; Moose Head Review; Fiddlehead; Garden Varieties: An Anthology of the Top Fifty Poems from the National Poetry Contest; Touchstone (U.K.); Soul of the Earth: An Ecobardic Anthology (U.K.); The Pagan’s Muse: Poems of Wisdom and Inspiration (U.S.); and Warren Wilson Review (U.S).]