I Knew a Woman
by Theodora Goss
I knew a woman kind as any star.
She wrapped the night wind warm about her neck.
She sang like crickets chirping in a jar.
She called the violet twilight her true home
and dusted constellations. For her sake,
the moon swept out its pewter-powdered dome.
Black clouds would scorn to sail on common ponds
and light upon the liquid of her mind.
They flared and ruffed their fluted wings like swans.
And when she spoke the poplars strove to hear,
and when sometimes she cried out in the wind,
her voice was more than all the stars could bear.
(The painting is by Arthur Rackham. This poem was first published in my poetry collection Songs for Ophelia.)