Poem: Her Black Handkerchief



by Katherine Givens

Originally published in BuckOff Magazine.

She holds close her handkerchief,

A cloth cut from a peculiar silk.

It’s color: black, ebony, dark as midnight.

Maybe she mourns for a burial?

Maybe for another’s ill-will?

She shifts a little,

And unveiled on the silk

Are stitched initials.


Who is she?

I do not ask,

But my mind invents

A story for her.

She cries for love lost,

For shattered dreams

Of a life with him,

But death claimed her paramour

In his sleep.

This is why

Ebony catches her bitterness.

This is why

Silver teardrops are scattered

About the heavens.

Sorrowing she is for the one

Fate promised to her,

But soon tore away

With all the cruelty

Of Hera from Greek legends.

But guilt

Creeps into my conscience,

For I give tragedy

To a stranger’s tale.

This is the story

I imagine for “S.H.,”

The lady with the black handkerchief.


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