Green Woman by Barbara Fletcher
published in Volume 9, Issue 1 on March 1st, 2002In the third pew I saw her
turn to reach for a hymnal:
a woman, turtle-shell green and radiant,
verdant skin and eyes marbled
with veins of copper and silver.
In the stained-glass sunlight
she shone metallic, like the flash
of fish in northern Ontario waters,
or birch leaves in a September wind:
the flashdance of chlorophyll and silver-white.
The others whispered that she was a
victim of a misplaced needle as a child:
a sudden and irrevocable infusion
of emerald-green into every cell.
And she was permanently transformed
into a serpent.
But there was nothing reptilian
about this living jade sculpture,
this perfect singing jewel.