She sewed pieces of eight
‘gainst the harshness of fate
into her muslin-lined bodice.

Then found that her breast
like an oak treasure chest
weighed heavy.

She walked with a bend,
clanked in the wind,
smelled of a grasping fist,

and always she feared
that if love came too near
it would lift her dubloons
as its levy.

So, long long before
she e’re met death’s door
she slept lone with arms
tightly crossed.

And cursed her harsh fate.

Here’s a rather silly little poem for wonderfully distilled Mama Zen’s challenge “words count” on With Real Toads. It is below 80 words and bounces off some usage of 8.

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11 Comments on “Safekeeping”

  1. Waltermarks Says:

    That’s a fascinating poem. A very stark picture. A very sad one, but very real.

  2. whimsygizmo Says:

    I love the feel and tone of this.
    A pirate’s life for me, always. This sways along beautifully.

  3. hedgewitch Says:

    Love the on again off again rhyme scheme–works perfectly with the immaculate meter to keep the eye and ear happy–and I *really* love the fourth stanza–it just glows, as does the neatly sewn-up ending. Great needlework, Karin.

  4. Just as well she never took a sea journey – I wouldn’t chance a fall into open water all kitted out in pieces of 8.

  5. shanyns Says:

    A pirates life for me. Pieces of eight, only Elizabeth would put them in her bodice. Nicely done!

  6. Mama Zen Says:

    Outstanding write! Like Hedge, I think the on again off again rhyme scheme really works well.

  7. my grandma was a top notch seamstress and you’ve sewn her like a beautiful & perfect fitting garb on me with your exacting words!

  8. grapeling Says:

    Liked this much, K

  9. brian miller Says:

    at least then she always has money for the boatman eh, when the time comes…def a harsh and lonely reality—but written nicely as far as flow….

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