I have been reading The Greek Myths: 1 by Robert Graves, and have been interested in his thesis that the Greek myths comprise a record of the shift from divine matriarchy to patriarchy. He provides examples of the female principle being represented as a trinity: maiden, nubile woman, and crone. Once, on a long-awaited Spring day, I stretched out under an ancient flowering crab apple tree in Minnesota and was suddenly awash in an incredibly strong sensation of my grandmother. I put these ideas together in writing my first sonnet. I had editorial help from Marilyn Taylor, a true Queen of the Sonnet, and an outstanding and inspiring teacher.
I lie below this crone, this ancient crab,
this tree with crossways crawling branch, to wrap
around itself like legs — scabby drab
embracing what is left of sap entrapped,
patient. As if the maid within will float
forever in pink haze, the way my grand
ma says she still feels like a girl and so dotes
on me. Somehow her blossoms are the strand
between us and despite her crooked reach
she holds us in a room from where we watch
my mother, ovulating like mad. We each
still yearn for something tasting butterscotch.
And if the sense of time is false, we three
are one, and not some man-made trinity.
© 2017 Sylvia Cavanaugh
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