for Robert Graves
Unsure of her own nature, she cried out
to her father, the river, to save her
from the ardent god's intent. Great as her fear
of the god's raw pursuit, her own self-doubt.
slowed her step, dogged to the brink
where she must perish or yield—or,
barring the choice, alter herself.
The blood drained from her limbs where she stood,
pale as mist blown from the river's mouth.
Her bruised feet, punished from the hard passage,
welcomed the cool smooth mud of the bank.
In and in, she sank until she felt
something rising in her like breath,
a voice softer than the purling river.
It knew her name. Lifting her head,
she found herself on her own ground now
before a baffled god, amazed at the shape
of his changed woman
About the Author: Faye George is the author of two chapbooks: Only the Words (1995) and Naming the Place: The Weymouth Poems (1996), and of two collections: A Wound on Stone (2001) and Back Roads (2003). Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, Yankee, Audubon's Sanctuary, and other journals, magazines, and anthologies. She is represented in Poetry magazine's 90th year retrospective, The Poetry Anthology, 1912-2002. A native of Weymouth, Massachusetts, Ms. George has lived in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Virginia, and now makes her home in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. She has received the Arizona Poetry Society's Memorial Award, the New England Poetry Club's Gretchen Warren Award and Erika Mumford Prize, among other honors. For more information on Faye George and her work, please visit the Poetry Daily web site.
"Daphne" first appeared in Poetry, November 1993, and is copyright © 1991 by The Modern Poetry Association. It appears here by permission of the author and the editor of Poetry, and may not be reproduced in any form without such permission.