Maxence Yaëlle



The Outsider

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down today.
Nothing gold can stay.
— Robert Frost
― S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders

Snide comments about the nature of my dress;
The Thirty-Nine Steps it takes to get past;
saboteurs; a flexed upper-lip; Rotten Tomatoes.

They lounge like Liberty and pietàs by lockers
in rose mohair sweaters and violet silk gloves;
pearls like teeth pulled from pillaged-yawp prey.
Mugging in rouge-mirrors; sharp edges exposed
in cropped snaps; Kodachrome backgrounds.
Born to superbia, their pride preserves uniformity.

There is no excuse for the peach crêpe flower
played-out on my skirt this last scrap of summer —
equal-night offsets autumn, though the trickster sun
is still cunningly gold. Some glitch made me think
heat would come again today; cool frocks to
stand me by. Sun of my youth. Stay gold.





This poem is published in Vallum: Contemporary Poetry DIGITAL issue 13:1 only! This issue also features work by George Elliott Clarke, Jan Zwicky, John Surowiecki, John Kinsella, Jane Munro, Arthur Sze, Blaine Marchand and many more! To order your copy, please visit our ONLINE STORE !


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