Bref Double Written for Central Park During the Pandemic

by Jenna Le

Magnolias, long-fingered like a thief,
their knuckles purple fading to pale pink
toward their fingertips, reach out to stir
the robin’s-egg-blue basin of the sky, 

to swirl their fingers lazily around
inside that bright dyed blueness. What’s a leaf?
they seem to murmur, What can leaves be worth
when we have petals silky as a sigh,
 

luxurious as a glove in hours when grief
will pace the halls of hospitals bare-handed?
I struggle to make sense of this motif,
this efflorescence out of season, blur 

of muchness where so much has been cut brief.
I hope it’s hope that I’m meant to infer.

Previously published by The New Verse News (April 2020).

Writing Prompt:
 The bref double is a rare 14-line poetic form, in which some — but not all — the lines are end-rhymed: one possible rhyme scheme is the one used in this poem, AxBC xAxC AxAB AB. Because of the decreased number of rhyme requirements, it can feel more relaxed than a sonnet and can therefore be a soothing way to work through stressful subject matter, all while maintaining the melancholy half-music of a few rhymes sounding at irregular intervals. Why not try writing your own?


Jenna Le

Jenna Le has a B.A. in Mathematics and has worked as a physician and educator in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and (currently) the Bronx, New York.