The wheels of the world spin but The Scissor God
keeps her eyes closed to them. With one hand
she cuts the ties that bind, with the other
she snips off the loose ends.
She’s at the still center
of a dangerous maelstrom; there’s no hope
You’ll be undone, she’ll see
Perhaps the man is riding towards a dark wood on a pale horse.
Or the pale man is riding towards the woods on a dark horse.
Perhaps the wind has taken his hat and tossed it
into the underbrush.
What is the man saying?
The wind takes his words right out of his mouth.
Soon it will rain.
In the cabin in the heart of the forest
the Scissor God stands over a plain table and weeps
as she cuts the arms and legs off
an army of paper dolls.
Next she does the little heads.
Near the sinuous river a snake winds his way
through the damp leaves and dissapears into a hole
under a tree root. High in the tree a crow tilts its head
and refolds its wings. Takes two steps to the side.
In her bed the girl listens to the branches of the oak tree
scrape at her window. She pulls the covers up tight under her chin.
Shadows pulse and writhe and she knows there is something
on the other side of her door.
She keeps her eyes shut.
Far off shore an old man in a dory leans into his work,
his hands clamped like steel around the oars.
The seams are split and dark water
slowly fills the boat.
A muscle in the man’s jaw stands out like a braided rope.
His eyes are as cold as the sea.
He grunts with each pull and the sound he makes
carries out over the water.
Somewhere in the woods a lone horse stands in a clearing,
blowing hard, his rider nowhere to be seen.
In the cabin the only sound is the snip-snip of sharp steel
as the Scissor God goes to town. When she’s finished,
she’ll pick up her needle and thread.
She makes something new from the pieces.