Tuesday Poem-A Long Time Coming-by Karen Zelas

I watch you slide

through golden links hung

like a fly-curtain across the maw;

even the metal’s brilliance

can’t disguise the reality of your journey

perhaps he waits for you-

you’ve been a long time coming,

but then, he left too soon

and you like that devoted

duck, on and off the curb

exhorting her dead drake to rise from the gutter…

the lengthened shadow

of a cross



never to touch

your flowerless box, no

six-pointed star to lead the way

the lick of flame

his gold ring

on your fourth finger still

(c) Karen Zelas


This poem is from Karen’s first collection ‘Night’s Glass Table’ (Interactive Publications Pty Ltd-2012). This is what she says about its origins.
“When my father died in middle age, my mother lost her soul-mate and endured another thirty-five years alone. It may seem strange to liken one’s parents to a pair of ducks, but the event seared a heart-breaking image on my retina. With reference to the cross and the star (of David), my mother chose not to have a Jewish funeral, but she would nevertheless have been mortified to know the shadow of a cross hung over her coffin during the farewell. Such are the vagaries of culture and religion.”
To read more about Karen and her work please click here.
And when you are ready, return to Tuesday Poets and read Saradha’s fascinating editorial selection.

2 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem-A Long Time Coming-by Karen Zelas”

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