An Edgy Community

My response to dVerse Poetics prompt, “Edges and Fringes”:  I’ve used both word prompts in a LONG prose poem; the inspiration comes from my novel in progress.


Richard stood braced against the wind

As near cliff’s edge as was prudent

Thinking about the young people

Who’d thrown their barely-lived lives

Over it, crashing to boulders below where

Voracious tides rushed to claim anything

Not clenched in rocks’ unmatched shark-teeth.

He was undecided whether to remain in this

Odd town; today the sounds—shrill breeze

Seagulls, icy water beneath—merged into

Keening lament, perhaps last words

Of the lost, or sirens who’d wooed them.

He hadn’t known these kids, but during his

Short residence he’d become consumed by

Enigma of their deaths; and myths, other

Mysteries secreted in secluded, strangely

Fear-shrouded place of closed-mouth folks

Who had appraised his arrival without welcome.

He might have turned his old VW ’round, left

Them with their shadows, but ambiance was

Writer’s bait.  Too, there was a kindly older

Couple—surprisingly open to his curiosity

Unlike the someone determined to frighten

Him off by way of arson fire, or recent illness

He’d suffered…a deliberate poisoning.

And, there was the lovely-as-heather (yet

Aloof) recluse he hoped to know better.

The suicides distressed him, and peculiar

Absence of children—though he’d first met a

Teacher, and observed mute brown-brick school

Tucked inside the hamlet’s formidable

Wrought iron gates (locked at sundown).

All in all it was an edgy community, seemingly

Bound on blurred fringes by a darkling force.

©Zelda Rene, 2021 ~ All rights reserved.