Comment on this article

Rilke's Maid, Leni at the Little Castle of Schloss Berg
by Lois P. Jones

   She is hardly there, she never asks me anything and never seems surprised at
   anything. She has a presence that is so to speak, climatic… — Rilke

I often see you like a monk looking out the manor windows
long after the last coals ember to ash. Ice seals the panes—

your quiet is soft as this fine snow falling outside
time. And when your eyes meet mine, I won't be drawn

into their storm, entering only to stoke the fire
or leave cheese and bread near your desk. You eat poorly

or not at all and sometimes I find you asleep, a book
face down in your lap—a hinged bird turned cold

in your hands. I do not wash her perfumed gloves
or tidy loose love letters near a torn slip

of words: I am here, you will find me where you want me
Their blue reminds me of the rook thrush I freed

from your bedroom curtains. We live with little
sound, the only music in rain's benediction

or the odd chur of the nightjar. This evening's
new moon rises over the pine, your face riven

by its light as you enter your world
of shadows. I will be the spirit of your

departed, aloft as a white moth in winter,
more cumulus than bone.

Previously published in One.  

Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]