Danèlle Lejeune is a wanderer, a beekeeper, a farmer, a mother who gave up on art for nearly twenty years until an alligator in the marshes off the coast of Georgia convinced her to write for her life or be eaten alive. Since then she has been published in Literary Mama, Red River Review, and Fifth Wednesday Journal. Forthcoming work in Whale Road Review, Riding Light Magazine, Nottingham Review, and Red Paint Hill Press. Her photos have appeared in Portland Review and Flyway Journal. She's been a poet in residence at Vermont Studio Center, attended Charles University in Prague, and is the assistant to the Director at Ossabaw Writer's Retreat (where the alligator lives …)
June 29, 2016
Every Delicate Step
The laughter crushed on rocks and bone still rings in my ears, pearls and silver bells, with every delicate step — Disgrace, she whispers and the soft slide of her sssss, tickles down my throat.
This poem is one of a series about a Selkie (a Celtic myth of a seal skin mermaid who can be caught by stealing her skin, trapping her in human form against her will) captured, stolen, and carried to the coastless drifts of the Midwest. This poem in particular began, as most of my work does, as a three to four page narrative poem that lays out all of the biographical memoir behind the story. Then I begin to carve it down, carefully. I struggled with this one until one day I saw another poem that played with spaces and breath line. It was a eureka moment and I rushed to this poem, knowing what final touches it needed. The pause, the space, the lines in between — when speaking of "disgrace" the silence is what really tears one's heart open, not anything that can be said aloud.
Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published weekly by Glass Poetry Press. All contents © the author.