Black Petals Issue #81, Autumn, 2017

The Statue
Mars-Chris Friend
Big Bear-Fiction by Paul Strickland
Drogol's Institution-Fiction by Mike Mulvihill
Haunting of Hell House-Fiction by M. L. Fortier
Killing Time-Fiction by Mike Mulvihill
Nowhere Man in a Nowhere Land-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Surviving Montezuma-Chapters 11 & 12-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
The Box with Pearl Inlay-Fiction by Roy Dorman
What was Lacking?-Fiction by A. M. Stickel, Editor
The Statue-Poem by Janet C. Ro

The Statue


J.C. Ro


Shaking, quaking, Husband-Master never waking,

I started his day and quietly shut the door.

I lived for obeying, my body ever swaying

in fear, always sensing if he wanted more;


More of this or that, as if there was a constant lack

where we dwelled within our shack beside the swelling sea.

I lived tiptoeing, shaking, satisfaction never taking,

And accepted that this fear was all my life would be.


Shut-in and stuttering, stumbling and muttering—

Master was used to this and also greatly amused,

watching the tiptoed fumble of the beaten one he’d humbled,

the oppressed following-of-one he thought happily abused.


Moving was never soothing, with Master always accusing

and yanking my body along by my small wrist,

when I misheard a word, said words he thought absurd,

or simply stuttered because I didn’t get the gist.


Tired of always quaking, sick and tired of the shaking,

only acting and reacting to Master’s raging will,

one day I felt as if, one-by-one, all bonds had come undone;

and then felt myself go very stiff—and very, very still.


When like a beast my Master kept the daily nap he always slept,

I wandered sobbing, running wild, wailing like a cornered child.

In prayer for a freedom I couldn’t conceive, I found myself upon my knees,

aching heart searching—frantic, desperate, and by hope beguiled.


The sea was watching as I knelt, lapping at me as I felt

like drowning myself completely in its great mystery.

Instead I looked ahead, and my heart escaped from dread,

For I fell in love then with the sea whose freedom beckoned me.


Large mystery, unlike land, drew me onto warm wet sand,

and for a time I felt and sensed a hand protecting me:

gentle, yet so massive, aggressive, yet so passive,

its waves reaching, reaching, and yet soothing all of me.


Like a lover laughing loud, the waves reached up toward cloud

where moon and stars peered down and seemed about to shout;

but no covenant was made while on the sand I stared and stayed

and wondered what this separate and awesome beauty was about.


Weeping, I turned from sea to land to see where I might stand.

Master glared and beckoned from his window to come home,

there to do his will in pain, there to shake and quake again

in a place where I was daily slain, forbidden to become.


I couldn’t move toward that house to live quiet as a mouse,

and fell kneeling, crying, begging God there in the sand,

at the place where I could see the sea that had cornered me

between the terror of the Deep and the bondage of the Land.


I stood stiffened and stock still, could no longer move at will,

Unable to move homeward to my overlord on land!

Not as a wife, enduring strife, bonded to my old life

under the hard hand of a land-bound, angry man.


Thanks to a wish upon a star that lay silent, fair, and far,

I was moving at his will, his raging will no more!

When I knelt my wish came true to depart the life I knew

and there stay a statue who knelt still on ocean’s shore.


He stared out the window, and I heard his beastly bellow,

Calling harshly for his wife as he stomped upon the floor.

And I, frozen in relief, never doubting my belief,

Watched him whom I’d serve as slavish wife no more.


He walked outside, pondered, and toward me, angry, wandered

to the shore where I knelt, coldly silent, unable to atone;

my hands were reaching from me to that soothing, sounding sea,

in joyful hope, not grief, that I was now solid, with no bone.


He ran to me, and, when his fist tried to smash down on my wrist,

he met rigid resistance, and broke his hand on stone;

he scrambled and he fell; I could hear his panicked yell,

as he fled back to his horrid hut with a pain-filled moan.


Here I kneel in relief, happy now in my belief

that my joy shall be locked in forever more;

Kneeling, I am reaching for the sea that I’m beseeching,

Always hopeful in my gazing at the shining ocean shore.



Janet C. Ro,, of Evanston, IL, wrote the BP #81 poem, “The Statue” (+ the BP #76 poems, “Ghost Lover” & “My Walk to Emberly Park”; BP #73’s editor’s favorite, “The Witch and the Rock; the poem, “Farewell, My Isobel” for BP #68; “Monstrous” and “The Scientist,” for BP #67; “Rose and Gold” for BP #65, as well as the “Angelic and Animated Rhyme Sets”; Alien Rhymes for BP #64, and was featured poet in BP #63 with her Thorough Rhymes). She writes: “Thrashing through armies of roses and thorn, I’m rushing to save my dear pet unicorn. My bones are now breaking and my poor skin does bleed. But rescued by every new word that you read:

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