The Fallen Caryatid Carrying her Stone circa 1880-1, cast 1950 by Auguste Rodin 1840-1917
Fallen Caryatid Carrying Her Stone
by Shari Zollinger

They think I simply bear the weight of courtyard
talk like any good girl would, with silence.
They think I don’t see them catch my
burnished body in its soft contortion
only to claim it a pose of pity.
A girl taken down by a block of stone.
I do not open my eyes. I alone
know the reason for infinite sitting.

What happens when you listen to a stone
for a bronze age? You finally make out
its language. Each weighty measure and tone
so paradoxically soft—what’s not known
is that I am poised to stand and shout
that I have found my name. That I am home.

IMAGE: “Fallen Caryatid Carrying Her Stone,” sculpture by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917).

EDITOR’S NOTE: A caryatid is a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support, taking the place of a column or a pillar.

Bio Pic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Native of Utah, Shari Zollinger has a BS in History from Utah State University. She spent six years living in Taiwan, part of that time spent attending the Stanford Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies in Taipei. Her love of language has directly inspired her work as a poet. Her poems have appeared in the Sugar House Review, Redactions: Poetry and Poetics, and The Desert Voice. She is currently working on a manuscript inspired by the works of Auguste Rodin. This poem  comes from this work.