Featured Poet: Nicole Burney — I Sell Jewels for a Pittance

I Sell Jewels for a Pittance
after Ellis Wilson’s “The Flower Vendor”

Who am I to you?
Just dark flesh the color of earth,
or not flesh at all, merely haze and sinew,
wrapped in a mother’s apron;
how can one be so nameless –
The looks and non-looks admonish me;

What have I done to you?
I sit.  I wait for better things;
in the sun or in a downpour,
I am too much anchored to the space I occupy,
when I should be elsewhere, anywhere, away.

The passersby scowl,
instantly knowing me, yet knowing nothing.
My shoes are too worn and shabby,
I smell of pollen and deep earth,
I am old and wistful, making the same trek each day
to sell my only bounty.

I have fooled you well,
for I am the queen of peonies and sunflowers,
and big round things flushed with colors.
I offer jewels for a pittance;
I am memories and old songs.
I have stories to tell.
I am here.


Nicole has been writing fiction and poetry since she was little, but has only just began to share her work with others.  One of her primary goals is to get more people reading poetry to young children because it helps them think creatively and grow.   You can read more of her wonderful work  (and wonderful indeed it is) at Majesty James.


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