The Old Woman Prepares to Go
Don’t come too close she’ll soon be gone;
don’t speak, she can’t be evergreen.
Don’t hold her when the rains convene
and bulbs all come and bloom like dawn.
The roosting roadrunner shy as a fawn
will scatter twigs and clack and preen
but find no seed for she’ll be gone.
Don’t speak, she can’t be evergreen.
Out on the cedar speckled lawn
the redbud’s face will rouge unseen
and dot the eye, clear cruel and clean
with shadow snow that melts at dawn.
Don’t come too close she’ll soon be gone.
Don’t speak; the world is evergreen
Revised to follow correct rhyme scheme:ABba/abAB/abba AB
Since this is all about writing form, I thought it might be interesting to some to show how a free verse poem turns into a form poem in Hedgewitch’s kitchen, and also I have to admit an attachment to both versions. So, I’m posting both the derived rondel and the original verse it’s based on.
Here's where I started(free verse):
The Old Woman Goes
Don’t get too close to her.
Soon she’ll be gone, never to see
the redbud bloom again
dotting the eyes with soft purple,
or the bold marauder charge of the bulbs
upward green to a flaring yellow.
The roadrunner will come roost on her porch
with its haphazard scatter of twigs
and odd clicking chatter to be chased off
by someone else.
The feral guinea hens will find no seed
beneath the empty feeders, and with
the thincheeked minimalist squirrels, dimly mourn
hungry in mindless confusion.
All the books and the vinyl will be sold,
the illegible scribbles, the antic photographs
thrown in the dumpster
after the poorly attended
estate sale. She'll be forgotten
faster than snowmelt on the vernal equinox
except perhaps in a far crumbling house
where an old man dreams of seed and birds
Photo: redbud, by joy ann jones, March 2011