I miss my stepmother. What a thing to say
but it's true. The prince is so boring: four
hours to dress and then the cheering throngs.
Again. The page who holds the door is cute
enough to eat. Where is he once Mr. Charming
kisses my forehead goodnight?
Every morning I gaze out a casement window
at the hunters, dark men with blood on their
boots who joke and mount, their black
straining, rough beards, callused hands, selfish,
Oh, dear diary—I am lost in ever after:
Those insufferable birds, someone in every
room with a lute, the queen calling me to look
at another painting of her son, this time
holding the transparent slipper I wish
I'd never seen.
from Fever, ( Red Hen Press, 2006)
Burning the Book
The anthology of love poems I bought
for a quarter is brittle, anyway, and comes
apart when I read it.
One at a time, I throw pages on the fire
and watch smoke make its way up
I’m almost to the index when I hear
a murmuring in the street. My neighbors
are watching it snow.
I put on my blue jacket and join them.
The children stand with their mouths
I can see nouns—longing, rapture, bliss—
land on every tongue, then disappear.
from The Ogre's Wife, ( Red Hen Press, 2013)
Until then, every forest
had wolves in it, we thought
it would be fun to wear snowshoes
all the time, and we could talk to water.
So who is this woman with the gray
breath calling out names and pointing
to the little desks we will occupy
for the rest of our lives?
from Making Love to Roget's Wife, (University of Arkansas Press, 1997)