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CELEBRATING CREATIVE EXPRESSION AT BAYLOR SINCE 1966

Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 53
Issue 1

Single Visual Art Post

  • Poetry
The Winemaker's Tale
Elisabeth Lau

Here the winemaker from Perth Hills is not meek.

For she slurs with an incessant ruddy cheek.

But never in vogue have red faces been

Without a tart, horrific sign of sin.

As she bottomlessly makes and drinks Merlot

Gossip spreads of her business’s woe.

Not for the wine but cause she lacks of well

As dabs of No. 5 mask not the smell.

Many said she now is mother to none

For kin left her for a more sober one.

 

‘There once was a princess who everyday

Lived no fear of any malicious prey.

She lived with her dozen brothers merrily

But the queen, ill with plague, passed on quickly.

So the widowed king betrothed a mad fake,

A witch many said, the source of all ache.

The witch played her evil tricks all in spite

The brothers men at night but swans by light.

But if the princess wove clothes for their core

Then as humans her brothers could stay more.

Carried to safety by her brothers’ sweat

 

The princess silenced to prevent regret.

For if she spoke, the swans would join their mum

So while she knit, her voice stayed unwelcome.

Sacrificing much, like a mother kind,

Still never once did she lose her pure mind.

Unlike me who couldn’t give up a glass

For my darlings who wait for me to pass.’

Confirming gossip, the winemaker sobbed

Hysterical rains from her eyes were robbed.

Speech more slurred than ever, off her lips tears fell

Until she reached a sober state of well.

Her newly wistful tale continued on

As the alcohol used her as a pawn.

‘The rest of the tale will only be pained

For my impure mind with wine always stained.

I had cursed my family as they fled

And had not been the sweet princess who led

Them safe away from my regretful wine

For love to remain a mother to mine.’