Leaf One in the Narrative on the Vine of Mrs. Catherick

This story is paired with “Second Epoch, The Story Continued in Several Narratives” from The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. For best experience, download the LithoReader for your iPhone or iPad and get NonBinary Review for free. 


Spit on me, I care not for who are you? Yet you will regret, regret and bow, for my spine is straight as the rod you’d think to beat me with. The path—strewn with broken dreams, covered with shards of glass, birthing far more than seven years of bad luck—will not, will not I say impede my rise!

fine china graces
the table on linen cloth:
coal on the fire

Oh how charming he was, his Lordship, with a smile sunrise envied. No he did not force me, for surely there is not a person alive who could force me; I sought him out thinking him the means to my ascension. Quickly, how quickly he was up and gone and I seeded with both my desire and misfortune. His haste to leave with no sign of affection or acknowledgement showed me his colors, the rankness none, but one dismissed, could see. Built of sturdy peasant stock but not without my own pride, I withheld from him his child. No, never would he know. Let him die unknowing and he did just that!

nursing wounds
past and present:
a single rose

Catherick had a pride of his own and married me. Oh goodness how surprised he was by the early arrival of Anne—why on earth would the likes of me marry him—I was astounded by his heartbreak. Denial was the road we both chose to walk, and walk until the end we will. The fool left me, yet in his pride he kept me well. I will not apologize for taking what I see as my due, and the only way for such as I. Men, children all, thinking to deny the storm its fuel, for such am I. See them kneel—the cleric, the villagers—for she who holds the purse rules the world.


NBR7GuzzismallDeborah Guzzi’s  poetry appears in here/there: poetry in the UK, Existere – Journal of Arts and Literature in Canada, Tincture in Australia, Cha: Asian Literary Review, Hong Kong, China, Eunoia in Singapore, Vine Leaves Literary Journal in Greece, RedLeaf Poetry, India and Travel by the Book, Ribbons: Tanka Society of America Journal, Soundings, The Aurorean and Poetry Quaterly others in the USA. Her book The Hurricane has just been released at Prolific Press.