Burnt Offering

Version 2

In some cultures, loyalty extends far beyond the fair or rational, but no one controls what happens after tradition is satisfied:

Burnt Offering
(The Virtuous Wife)

This suttee

is easier to bear with eyes closed.

She falls upon his burning pyre,

puts out his flame,

grateful for short rituals.

The pyre,

the bone,

ashes on the sheets.

He cannot touch her.

She is air.

She floats his breath.

She tracks his carbon

down the hall.

She walks

out to the Avenue,

wearing  sheerest black

with nothing but a cauldron underneath.

Her fire.

She picks a stranger

dusted by the road,

leans him against


in  the tall grass,

spills her steam,

lifts into


above shaded hill.

The prompt today was loyal.

4 thoughts on “Burnt Offering

  1. Pingback: Author Interview – Gil Miller – “The Rural Empires Series” & “Spree” (Crime/Thriller) | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)


    I have often envisioned this in the home of an arraigned Muslim marriage, when visiting their home, the wife is only a fleeting image off in the distance, seldom entering the room except on his demand, and I would wonder what was on her mind, under all that covering. Often the dog got more attention than her. Yet our maid when she would arrive for the work day took all that extra cloth off and became a beautiful person to be around.

    But your poem may speak of another person in another place in a different situation. There used to be a (comical) statement from my younger days: Why do you love me in the bushes but do not know me on the streets~? Well done thanks~!

    Liked by 2 people


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