BY JAN HAAG

INTRODUCTION + POETRY + ESSAYS + MUSIC + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART





THE WOMAN WHO HAD NO NECKLACES

10-26-97




When you were a child, O Devayani you untangled
many necklaces,
the metal from the bead,
the string from the silver and gold.

When you grew to be a woman with white hair
you met another woman
with a halo of snow,
beautiful, shimmering as if jeweled.

It was as if glittering stars rested in her hair,
as if sparkling gems
originated in her eyes,
bright and willful,

sparkling with wit
and wisdom,
yet she had men in her life:
a dead husband,

four sons who did not always
treat her kindly.
Tangled in their lives,
bound to their mother

by her beauty and her vision,
by her capabilities, her peace
and good cheer,
bound fast to her heart

by the golden chain
of care,
perfection,
freedom

and delight,
they could find no lovers,
no wives, no angels
to match the beauty of the woman

who told you, O Devayani, that as a child
she had no necklaces
to untangle,
no beads to undo,

no silver chains or gold.
Tangled round her heart strings,
tangled round the heart strings
of her sons

were threads like steel,
difficult to see,
impossible to pick apart
with a pin.

The woman of bejeweled
presence had tangled
round her life
necklaces impossible to undo.

The sons sought without hope
for the halo of glittering filigree
that was the presence
of their mother

melted in the crucible
of their own desires
into tin, iron
and dross.




Copyright © 2000 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jhaag@u.washington.edu




OTHER POEMS ABOUT LOVE



"...The Cattle Have Diamond Bones..."

Choice

The End of the Affair

Father

I Am Innuit

Pursuing Her Father

Silence

The Woman Who Had No Necklaces

You





BY JAN HAAG


POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO