The Monarch butterflies lie still in a bucket
full of stymied water. Who could have been
so mean to kill one beauty of nature’s companions?
We search the world for this kind of baseness
and find it in the bodies who had been abused
by their mothers, switches the size of tree trunks
in their children’s thinking or shut rooms
the width of claustrophobic turret castles
in their children’s imaginations.
When the silver scars in the evil ones’ brains
itch and then glisten, they know it is time
once again to mutilate that which tumbles
freely near a mute reality.
Glass pictures used to stand strong,
reminding me of my childhood days
when Mama hung them up in the living
room before the church ladies came
for coffee, doughnuts, and spiritual
Now, they look like what one sees
in a kaleidoscope, topsy- turvy glass
whose purpose is to nick fingers,
the blood, a birthday present, for
that was the only day we children
were permitted to touch a glazed
discrepancy about the value of the shards,
we still cried but one, for in every
loss is a happy pickpocket.
In the Dungeon
Her tongue manufactures clever words,
but no one hears her because
she has chosen to live in a dungeon.
When she was a child, every word she
stated was placed in a journal so that
one day she could string the words
together like pearls before tying
them into a best seller.
But the pressure to perform a story
with just ten random words before small-
town residents was more like donkey-work
to her six-year old frame—so she
left her family to find the caves
of her babyhood.
After she tripped over a false memory,
she saw the palace where she could
live by stepping down the famous steps
that led to her favorite king’s dungeon.
Her words would be the casualty
of the war between her and her parents.
The king left her alone to play
with her words, each one the color
and strength of a blizzard.
A crate of bones, she dies happily.
Claire T. Feild’s most recent book is a creative non-fiction book titled A Delta Vigil: Yazoo City, Mississippi, the 1950s. It is a book about Claire’s growing up white and female in Yazoo City in the 1950s. For ordering information, etc., please e-mail Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org