Odarka Stockert uses a Greek myth to reflect on the value of living and loving.
Advice from a friend to Hawthornia
My dear Thronia
what has happened!
is your man giving you trouble?
whatever you think, heed my words.
any man is better then a tree
with a man you can walk about the forest
even down to the stream
wash your lovely tresses
and stare at your own reflection
a man (even a boy) will bring you posies
comb captured thistles out of your locks
but a tree will raise a ruckus
and get the river sprites
to bring you home
enslave you to the root.
trust me, the best escape
from toil is to capture the heart of a man
even a woodsy one
even if he will take you away to the city
where there is dancing
and merriment all night—
not just in Midsummer!
the willow wood may be your home
but the world is a fine place
and you need not mourn your playmates
nor your mother’s tomb.
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