You made me a promise you could not keep.
I returned to the forest, green and deep.
Waiting and grieving, I bore us a son,
and all that I suffered, I suffered alone.
Cursed in your kingdom, oblivious king,
lost in the lake, our vow and our ring.
These are the stories we tell to keep going,
myths we believe to defy our own knowing.
One day a fisherman brings you a fish.
Inside it, our ring, our love, and my wish.
Abandoned too long, I hold myself back,
hearing the veins to our marble hearts crack.
Here is Sakuntala, you on your knees.
I am Sakuntala, tender my pleas.
Contributor’s Notes: Kathleen Kirk is the author of four poetry chapbooks, most recently Nocturnes (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012). Her work has appeared previously in Fickle Muses, and in a variety of other print and online journals, including Arsenic Lobster, Glasschord, Menacing Hedge, Poetry East, and Redheaded Stepchild. She is the poetry editor for Escape Into Life. “Sakuntala” and “Red Umbrella” are from a set of poems in the voice of sculptor Camille Claudel, commissioned by Columbus Dance Theatre for Claudel, with performances January 24-25, 2014.