William Doreski




Hedge Maze

Hedge maze a quarter mile square.
Everyone who enters it
terminates in screams. Even cops,
determined to rescue someone,
lose themselves for lack of clues
and fail to exit. You’re braver
than me, and walk in alone,
leaving prints in fluffy new snow
I’m bound by habit to follow.

Tracking you into the dusk,
I feel pressure build as if I dove
toward the bottom of the sea.
Misty figures loom and dissolve.
Weak hands pluck at my coat.
I can’t help anyone, but follow
your trail despite the failing light
and vapors dense enough to snuff
the nuances of my breathing.

At last the center of the maze.
The passage that has led me here
closes behind me, rustling stems
too thick and brambly to penetrate.
The sky drapes over my shoulders
with a post-orgasmic sigh.
Your footprints terminate before
a marble plinth on which a crystal
of the clearest quartz reclines.

I realize I’ve been screaming
for a while now, already tired
of my noise. I can’t stop even
as I peer into and then step inside
the shimmer of the crystal and feed
whatever lives inside it;
and I realize you lured me here
to dissolve in prismatic colors
that have threatened all my life.


William Doreski recently retired after years of teaching at Keene State College in New Hampshire (USA). His most recent book of poetry is The Suburbs of Atlantis (2013). He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors.  His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals.

Comments are closed.