The Perfect Match

Their boughs bend low beneath her crushing hand.

(Obeisance cannot sway a grieving god.)

The living trees are helpless where they stand,

Awake and murdered by the same command.

Her scream strips leaves, breaks mountains—mad maraud

That strips the motherland to barren sod

As stark as where I shiver. Deodand

For daughter’s death, when wrought by mother’s plan,

Remits the hand of life to House of Death—

Where I am queen, paid in my mother’s breath.

I watch, below, though soil chokes my eyes:

Demeter dooms the world for my demise–

She matched us–thought as son, Death could be bent–

But I am heir to Mother’s grave intent.


*Previously published in Sonnet Writers, Vol. 1, 2006.


Contributor Notes: Adele Gardner’s first poetry collection, Dreaming of Days in Astophel, is available from Sam’s Dot Publishing (, keyword search “Gardner” or “Astophel” to go right to it). She has had poems appear in American Arts QuarterlyThe Cape RockBibliophilosThe City PrimevalBellowing ArkZ MiscellaneousStatus Hat, and more. Much of this occurred under her previous byline, Lyn C. A. Gardner. You can find out more about Adele by visiting her website,