Apotropaic for Amore (A response poem)

Note: Apotropaic for Amore is a response poem. Find the original at http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/ae-stallings

Perhaps Love is no winged cupid boy.
I cannot help but picture the sunken
Smile of a wry old hag. She enjoys
Creating poor lovers (who are madmen)

And setting their lives to tumble and spin
While she lets forth her dry cackle and hack
Taking pleasure in turning touch to sin.
She is Fate and Mab and pity does lack.

Perhaps Love should only be seen in re-
Flection, where even the poor Gorgon’s head
Is tamed. Love’s monstrous form turns to beauty,
Like memories pressed in dried petal red.

Or perhaps Love is just that cupid boy
With foolish boy’s intent. We ache and strive
Against the cruel whimsy of child’s toy.
So, we madmen can only dodge and dive.


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