Girl Eaten by a Tree
Mark Ryden: Oil on Canvas, 2006
So sweet! Like peach nectar. Even her
bobby socks tasted like candy.
Strolling among whispery pines, larkspur
and honey-scented clover. A trio of skipping girls never suspected
that innocuous alcove in the oak, where robins fought
to lay their eggs, would soon be stuffed with one of them.
He was ravenous — starving, rooted in place.
He never hesitated to wrap his branches
around her slight waist and shovel her in
his open mouth. She flailed and kicked
but he ate her headfirst so the screaming was brief.
Her golden ringlets tickled the top of his throat.
He gagged and almost spit her out but then he got a taste
of the candied flesh. His bark breaking into her body — the joy
of the feast surpassing his best epicurean dreams.
Her shoulders, still in their blue silk frock,
slid down with ease. Each pearl button of her dress
gliding over his tongue. The slight puff of her belly,
her syrupy hips and thighs — thighs soaked
in peach nectar, soaked in maple sap!
At last, he is sated,
drowsy — not the least bit sorry.
Her doe-eyed, porcelain friends stagger away
with the buckles from her maryjanes.
LIZ KICAK lives in Tampa, FL. She received her MFA from the University of South Florida and is now the Assistant Director of the school’s Humanities Institute. Her poetry has appeared in New York Quarterly, Barely South Review, The Tulane Review, Southern Women’s Review, Palooka Literary Review, and others.