A Daughter's Tale

by Wendy McVicker

I went gladly

to the underworld, never

looking back.

My fear of him was nothing

to the fear I felt

of her.

“Eat,” he said, and smiled.

The berries were sharp

and sweet, my fingers


Out there, Mother

closed down the world.

Her fury was not

the fury of fire,

but of ice.

Wherever she went

it was winter — blasted

trees, fallow rock–hard

fields, no berries


The people mourned,

but their tears

could never warm her —

no more than mine

About the Author:
Wendy McVicker lives and writes in the beautiful green hills of Athens, Ohio. In her poetry, she seeks "to honor memory and the slow, deep process of knowing." Her poems have appeared in Appalachian Women's Journal, Confluence, Riverwind, and Whiskey Island, among others. She is a teaching poet with the Ohio Arts Council's Arts in Education program, and has been inciting poetry in schools, libraries, galleries, and community centers since 1987.

Copyright © 2005 by Wendy McVicker. The poem may not be reproduced in any form without the author's express written permission.

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