Her pockets are full of superfluous feathers
from days of trying to wing her way over
the downs and a few dead birds she'd hoped
to put back together again, but arrived too late
for the rescuing.
She collects hundreds of leaves from every
storm, saved in a heap of old hatboxes, color
coordinated from light to dark in a room where
one fedora rests on a mannequin with an unread
note tucked behind the ribbon, marked
Curiosity killed the cat.
Numerous clocks in every room remind
her of significant hours already passed,
so much so, she can’t bear to watch time
but lives for the agony of remembering.
In dreams her house is made of gingerbread
with a Christmas tree adorned all year round,
tinsel draping chandeliers, lights wrapped
up and over the foyer. Breadcrumbs line
hallways that never end or lead to any door.
There’s an eight ball perched on her cherry-wood
nightstand. This has proved to alleviate many
a sleepless night. Nothing more magical than waking
to a glow in the dark: All signs point to yes.
She is a true sorceress, paying no attention
to that man behind the curtain.
She is fascinated by the term doodlebug
and considers its many meanings, but mostly
feels sentimental about a fifth grade science project
when she became jealous of their ability to roll
into a beautiful sphere and disappear inside
a shell of armor.
She wanders through the orchard, over
bramble in serpentine steps beneath
the hum of bees, the warm scent of apple
trees permeating greenery where she's
a magpie of memories from another life. Now
she’s walking down the aisle, a soon
to be wife, dressed in a brocade gown
her mother standing near with an embellished
handkerchief, holding magnolias
and pearl-braided ribbons, cascading
to the sound of chapel bells. Someone
says A penny for your thoughts, inside
her heart’s a wishing well, a bank
of forgotten coins. She yells a wordless
scream. Now, she’s on a bike, pumping
pedals in a dream, a tattered card between
the spokes flickering through the haze
like a metronome within her mind. The nurse
adjusts her body like a doll devoid of bones
then plumps a pillow for her head,
she can see a rainbow; shades of blue,
the skies are indigo, she hears Clair
de Lune louder than the music of machines
that drone and drip, the children read
a passage from her favorite book.
Now she sees her father, rocking in a chair
a pipe between his lips, tobacco
in the air, the nurse says it won’t
be long and calls her husband to her side
but she’s already gone.
Bio: Carol Lynn Grellas is a four-time Pushcart nominee and the author of four Chapbooks: A Thousand Tiny Sorrows, ( March Street Press ), Breakfast in Winter (Flutter Press) Litany of Finger Prayers, (Pudding House Press) Object of Desire, (Finishing Line Press) and to e-chaps, Desired Things (Gold Wake Press) and Tell the Children (Victorian Violet Press). She is widely published in magazines and online journals including most recently, OVS and Saw Palm Florida Literature and Art.