Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Alchemist's Daughter

I wish you would not fondle
the bottles of tincture,
daughter, and disturb the pattern
of my work. It seems futile
for me to ask you not to purse
your lips at every offered proof.

Oh, father, what tender proof
could I offer to you how fond
I am of thinking and pursing
my lips as I do. Your tincture
bottles are just my hand's futile
attempts of finding a pattern.

Do not speak to me of patterns
of thought as I seek a proof
of what is probably an alchemical futility.
Have no doubt that I touch and fondle
the cool glass, too, of my tinctures,
but I do not slip them into my purse.

Ashamed I am that in my purse
of such beautiful handwoven pattern
I have secreted a necessary tincture
and here in my hand is the proof
of it. See how I fondle
your work which I know is not futile.

Oh, daughter, I find it is futile
for me to be angry of your purse
and what it hides. You fondle
my heart; that is our pattern.
Of your love and your shame, no proof
I need from you, only my tincture.

Father, it is a beautiful tincture.
It was foolish and futile
of me to take it. Here is the proof
in my hand, taken from my purse.
Your thought, your work, is your pattern.
It is that, and not me, you fondle.

My work's proof is in this tincture,
which you have fondled, yet it was futile
to hide it in your purse, my love, my living pattern.

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to the May 17 Wordle prompt at Big Tent Poetry.

I wrote the first four stanzas and then got interrupted. It took me a while to get back to it and finish it.


  1. I'm certainly glad that you got back to it—"your work's proof is in these words."
    Linda Frances

  2. This is an awesome Sestina, Mr. Walker. You tackled the beast of a difficult form, and risen to success. Bravo!

    It's hard to do this without the lines seeming forced. Your lines do not seem forced. Great story, too! Success is yours.

    Mrs. Warren

  3. Guess I didn't preview my comment before's early, and rife with error. (now I'm embarassed!) I leave...but I'll be back!

  4. Linda and Brenda, thank you for commenting on my sestina. Some of those words in that wordle just called to me, and this is what I came up with.