The slander was a lie, but when whispered
In her ear it held, echoed.
Endless as a rock-pool brimming, a hidden
Spill of water, sounding a cave.
She listened though she knew it wasn’t true.
She shook her head.
The lie rose like yeast, like six seeds
Of pomegranate in the distraction of grief.
Ruined, it whispered and winter
Swept the small room.
But the floor was lined in stone, old
Rock from a long gone inland sea.
The dark lines of fossils woke her—
The still beauty
Of curved spines and wings,
Birds. Ferns. Whole ferns survived
Exact even to the dark spores on fronds.
A river bank and a bay tree.