Self-Portrait as Rapunzel, in which the Tower Represents Grief

by Ellora Sutton

And I never saw my mother again.

All my stars fell palms-first into the thorns
outside my small glassless window.
No door, no stairs. I just found myself,
there. My thimble. My long smoking rifle
and I, the smoke softly ceasing to exist.
It takes seventy years to wash my hair.
She did it in such a way that I can’t undo,
the tight knots of my hair, the bolts, the locks.
I wear it like a straitjacket. Gold
is the softest, most feeble metal. The horsehair
bristles of the brush whisper against my scalp
a million matriarchal ghosts. Child. Girl. Here, my vengeance.
I want to hurl myself out the window and live,
briefly. For the small children in the distant village
to point and say
                         look! Mama! a shooting star!