Without further ado, my poem, which borrows from several Shakespearean plays:
Freeze, bitter sky, and blow, blow winter wind—
Did Shakespeare speak of March, which as a lion
comes roaring into being with its hoarse
but penetrating voice? These gusts could break
your spirit like a roof tile. Winter’s rays
do not ameliorate things in their turn,
can’t pierce gray clouds that gather as earth turns
itself around the nearest star, as if to wind
a spool of wool around itself. We raise
our collars, pull our hats down, shovel lines
through driveways, sidewalks, till our backs could break.
Cold desiccates our lungs, leaving us hoarse.
A horse, a horse - my kingdom for a horse!
to take me far from snow. I’d like a turn
at lying on a beach, my own Spring Break
though I’m too old. If I could, I would wind
the clock back. Take more trips. Go see the lions
in Africa, or mountain temples. Raise
a little hell. It’s not how I was raised.
of course. Put through my paces like a horse
on show, made to reject my inner lion,
who ceased to roar as years passed. The return
of growls and rumbles, swelling like the wind
outside makes me believe that I can break
old patterns after all. I will not brake
this time, will not stop till old walls are razed.
Why not go feel the Himalayan winds
sweep through Tibet, see clay soldiers and horses
who’ve waited centuries to have their turn
at battle, fighting with the strength of lions?
I am not made of clay — why stand in line
for “someday”, when that day may never break?
Far better to plan now, to take my turn,
move through this brave new world, bask in sun rays
that break across the Great Wall like a horse
turning its face into the morning wind.
I’ll have my turn, find pluck like Frank Baum’s lion
to go. Wind at my back, I’ll take a break,
enjoy life, raise my voice until I’m hoarse.
I will not stand for any other course.
I should note that my sestina deviates from the rules by including a fourth line in the envoi (final stanza), which insisted on being there.
You can find other sestinas by my poetry sisters by clicking on the links below, or other Poetry Friday posts generally by clicking on the box:
Andi Sibley is at A Wrung Sponge.
Laura Purdie Salas is at Writing the World for Kids
Liz Garton Scanlon can be found at Liz in Ink
Tanita Davis is over at Fiction, Instead of Lies
Tricia Stohr-Hunt is found at Miss Rumphius Effect.