Annette O'Neil
2 min readOct 2, 2021


I stood before the effigy

As though I were the queen and the show was for me

While my innermost wilderness tugged itself free

Of the chains of the mind that bind it.

He said I’d know you by your cloak -

A bower sweet as a meadow oak.

I asked you to share it so I wouldn’t soak,

And you didn’t seem to mind it.

You folded me under your warm grey wing

And I fit like a song that I know how to sing

So I sang with my hands like a spring starling

To your bell without a ringer.

When the fire gave over to the storm

You found a place to keep me warm

Entangled around you and perched on your form,

On the proffer of your fingers.

Well, I might know you for a hundred years

Or this might dissolve in a raft of tears

Or this might be the last time I see you, my dear,

But I’ll keep this memory with me:

Your tree-trunk legs and your velvet hands

And your footprints there in the Bali sand

And the open fist that your truth demands

And the way your looking lifts me.

Face warm as a mug between my palms,

Rooibos-sweet and sunrise-calm

And your outbreath, bright as lemon-balm,

And your ocean heart slow-dancing.

How lucky your river, every day;

How I melt to be moved in your rag-doll way

Held aloft on stopwatch DNA

With my tickled inhales prancing.

This is where the good stuff is

Where intimacy loves to live

Where give is take and take is give

Tell me: do you see me?

I stand before you, wings unfurled -

A quantam, wild, half-homesick girl.

There’s so much to taste in this banquet world

When the wine of now flows freely.