Academic journal article Hecate

The Girl of the Limberlost (in Memory of Gene Stratton Porter)

Academic journal article Hecate

The Girl of the Limberlost (in Memory of Gene Stratton Porter)

Article excerpt

The Girl of the Limberlost (In memory of Gene Stratton Porter)

I wait for the solemn neighbours of my imaginings to rouse

when I confess that I sometimes lock myself inside the old pick-up

on holiday-weekends, but they are used to cranky folk who shut themselves up.

Anyway, that is how I came to see my daughter in the bird-speckled rear-vision

mirror of my husband's work-weary truck last Sunday.

The hue of her hair has no name for the speaking, let's just say paddock-grass blue,

with all the tarnishes of marsh-grains gone past ripeness, gone to ergot.

I caught her reflection jigging like a lap-dolly in a long flounced skirt,

like some sweet Floridian hillbilly, and how my heart tapped its foot a reel

remembering the bowing of air against bare armpit skin,

loose fabric ballooning around shadows, twirling on an envelope of secret afternoon.

My tender feet bare, like hers, toes uncurling bracken fiddles, I would run,

like a Seminole, without touching the ground, and my hair would fly

quick as a blind granny's shuttle. …

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