Today we are celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary. As per my previous post: Throughout the past 20+ years, I have occasionally written stories and poems that include thoughts about my husband, marriage, relationships, love, &c. We were in our mid-forties when we (once more…after a lapse of nearly twenty years) began dating and married. I wrote this poem in 2007, shortly after our fifteenth wedding anniversary, imagining what I might feel if Al were dead, recasting the emotions in a “Halloween” poem for publication on the SFPA Halloween page. I did something similar for a science-fiction poem (Outward Voyage, bottom of page) that was published in Star*Line in 2011.
“At Allantide”, by Liz Bennefeld
At Allantide the young girls sleep,
an apple beneath each pillow,
dreaming of their love to be.
At Allantide I sit awake, apple in hand,
waiting for the dear, sweet Allan of my dreams
to come again and dance underneath the moon,
orange above, amid dry barley propped up in sheaves.
Bones rattling, he takes my hand.
We spin across the threshing floor in tight embrace.
He promises, this Allantide . . . or maybe next,
Only a ghostly apple will sit upon a pillow
not dented when I can no longer stay awake.
Face matching his, I’ll dance a final song with him,
And then we both can sleep.
– Elizabeth Bennefeld, © 5 Oct. 2007 [Written for the Science Fiction
Poetry Association’s 2007 Online Halloween Poetry Reading Web page (MP3 available at SFPA)]
Source: At Allantide (SFPA – 2007), QuiltedPoetry.net