for my Headmistress

A feisty nose-rush of amber,
you caught me off guard: stuck
as I was between the gate and the
wall. A sudden implosion; what heart
wouldn’t shake, stirred hot by loose
capillaries? I lean over, as conductors
do. Their white batons’ swirling: a
voltage of serenades to please older ears.
Pinching, what alternative is left? I
implore to my school Headmistress.
The concern in her eyes, almost violet,
very kind, always ringed, always old.
She smelled of lavender, too; the way
of seniors that I’ve taken a liking to,
one none other than I can fully
understand. By the time my head met the sink,
she had already unclogged it. I took the time to
wince my eyes, pricked with ten salted tears.
Only ten. No more were allowed, she said:
the triumphant mark of bravery. Past the
Calla flowers and into her gold office.
More lavender swathed my irony head
as I took my place among the novels,
the Vivaldi she kept in a leather chest
beside her desk. Turning my now carrion
coloured mouth towards her, we smile.
The last smile before the graduation into
another life. One where I’d meet her, one
autumn afternoon in the bakery where I worked.
Did she remember? That time I replaced
her sweetish office musk with metal, and
tissue? Word has it, the winter took her,
blessedly old that year. Beautifully scented
with the beloved fauna
my body so desperately
tried to conceal.

Β© Eve Redwater 2012


28 thoughts on “Nosebleed

  1. Hi, again the touching detail is lovely here, your very deeply felt thoughts about your head teacher, a kind of teacher that probably doesn’t exist now, or even allowed to exist. I like your memory of lavender – although it’s a shame it has an association with old people now. I for one love the smell of lavender and I’m not that old or a woman. But I digress. Another wonderfully constructed, thoughtful poem, that forms another significant part of your growing canon.

    • Thank you very much. I absolutely adore the scent of lavender, it’s just a shame that people seem to associate it with being an elder! I don’t think there’s anything unattractive about that. πŸ™‚

    • Hello Kathleen! Great of you to stop by and read this poem, thank you! The “ten (salted) tears” part is something she actually told me, and the rest of the students.

      “If you want to cry, you’re only allowed ten tears, then you’ll be the bravest!” – so sweet really, we all tried so hard to be brave because of her. πŸ™‚ Hope you’re having a great day, too!

  2. This was very fragrant. It was almost like walking through the part of the mall where they sell perfume and I got a lot of free samples. That’s quite the bit of alchemy you’ve got there, turning words into fragrances.

  3. Beautiful, beautiful. This reads flawlessly without getting stuck in one of those “boingy-boingy” structures – do you know what I mean? So much good writing is killed by structure πŸ™‚ (But so much of the writing with no structure is no good!) This is a perfect balance.

  4. This is stirred up in a great pot swirled with lavender and deep magic that pours into lines from memories of another time and another place. You can sing, Eve Redwater, even when you get one of those blasted nosebleeds, and you are about to conjure up time stopping.

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