In the window of the morning.

The Oracle sent yet another poem about a tragic female figure. I found this Waterhouse painting to fit the subject, and there is a window, onto another morning.


A child explores a broken cup in the grass.

Had it held poison once, does she remember

the woman weeping in despair

and and and


Her ghost haunts the shards,

life spilling an ocean of wild pictures,

a a

an embrace then death.


She raises the cup to her lips,

her dreams stirring uneasily,

lets the liquid memory pour

in perfumed peace, a slow stream.


Would time have made a difference?


The girl shakes her head with a soft smile,

Best to make an end

and sleep in the arms of the trees.


From the night, the woman sighs, agrees,

Let the day grow dark,

so so so

this glass may shine

like a star in the grass

for a child to find

in the window of another morning.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

19 thoughts on “In the window of the morning.”

  1. I had to go look up the legend, and then I understood the back and forth a bit better. I like the idea of these ghostly memories and “the window of another morning.” Beautiful phrase!
    I don’t remember that Waterhouse painting. I may have to come up with something for it, too. 😀

    1. I like this Iseult, she looks as more furious than despairing. I hadn’t realised that there really is a window onto the sea with ships and the possibility of escape and another life. The Oracle is absolutely everywhere!

  2. What a wonderful painting. I agree with Merril, it holds many other stories.
    The mystery and ambiguity of the lyrical conversation are just right. (K)

    1. I’m wondering now what legend everyone has looked up. I realise now I was just interpreting the painting as being of Iseult because it fits with the poison in the cup and the ships, but who knows who she is really?

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