Virtue (draft 2)

virtue used to be the force
that drove the green fuse through the flower
used to pulse with its own power

used to drive the edge of the knife
through the waiting flesh

faded to smooth brows and veiled heads
drained its juice and power to become

empty pulp and obedience
pap for the baby boy
smack of a ruler in a nun’s hands

2 Replies to “Virtue (draft 2)”

  1. Enjoyed comparing this to the first draft. For me this is improved wit maybe the exception of the addition of “used to pulse with its own power” — for me the weakens the following line (“used to drive the edge of the knife”) and also the rhyming of “power” and “flower” is a bit distracting. So much good in this poem though. I suspect you will have another draft that combines the best of both of these!

    1. Thanks so much for the precise and helpful feedback! It’s especially helpful to see what you think of the only end-rhyme.

      I’m following your blog now as well. One question I have: do you exclusively re-publish poems written by Zumwalt in the past, or do you also publish new work?

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