"Note from Fantine to Her Daughter, Cosette: (4)" and "Note from Fantine to Her Daughter, Cosette: (5)" by Kelly R. Samuels
Note from Fantine to Her Daughter, Cosette: (4)
Your father had a way about him. Honey on the tongue. Sweet
words put forth in open air, written on the page, whispered
in the ear, his hands busy, busy. I could listen to him all day
and well into the evening. And nod and smile and give over — yes,
that old story. Here another: of the alley, the greasy bed. Little
said. My heel catches between the paving stones. The ankle turned
and coddled. I stand for hours, thinking of what I’ll send to you,
when I’ll send for you, love of that sort more than. All the other:
the bee’s sting.
Note from Fantine to Her Daughter, Cosette: (5)
Tell me what you do with your days. Are you frolicking,
wearing a new dress bought with what I sent, a cheerful chirp
heard? You will have grown, I’m sure, and your step more certain.
Would that I could catch you, dandle you on my knee, kiss
your nape. It has been so long since I last set eyes on you, and I
find myself fretting more. Something seems to have come loose
inside me, knocking against bone. It rattles in the dark. And I am
so warm and then so cold — snow between the blades. And just
this morning: a finch found dead outside the window.
Kelly R. Samuels
Kelly R. Samuels is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of the chapbook, Words Some of Us Rarely Use (Unsolicited Press, 2019). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals, including Salt Hill, The Carolina Quarterly, Sweet Tree Review, Permafrost, and RHINO. She lives in the upper Midwest.
Headshot: Kate Marguerite Netwal
Photo Credit: Tiffany Cook