The Freedom of Monarchy

Edged in black, beauty
Her tiffany prismed wings
Curve and stretch to invite the sun.

The breath of wind from knotty limbs
Push up, up and underneath
The intense heat of the star.

Gliding now, with ease
Towards a place of southern comfort
The landing is smooth, prisms intact.


To Have and To Hold

Dry, dehydrated crumbs break off the cake.
One year later once tasted
moist and sweet that evening
we first danced.
The cool prong of a fork,
a wedding gift,
pierces the stale icing.

Bending my elbow a little more
I bring the utensil down harder
onto our Anniversary dessert
nearly splitting the smooth glass plate into pieces.
Not our first shattered sacrifice.

One year ago you held me,
Arm in arm saying our hellos
Greeting our guests who had traveled
To share with us, this solemn blessing.

Those first few notes on the piano signaled our dance.
Your sturdy frame led me through the room of rhythm.
As I followed, my lips were wide open with joy;
the corners of my mouth reached up to my eyes

I sit alone with our cake—
The once bright jade in my eyes has grown dim like a winter’s moss.
Choking down a clump of floral-shaped sugar.
The sweetness of that day dissolves.


Safe, Doll

Scratched black button eyes
Matted red yarn hair.

Crooked smile, worn out stitches
A face only a child could love.

Clubbed cotton hand always there
To catch the tears rolling down.

Keep our secret safe, doll—
Your little cloth heart.