The old willow where we’d kneel beside
the sunlit creek in search of tadpoles
uncatchable as dreams.
The dreams of finches in an unlocked cage
perched above seeds while I’m trying
to hold them in my sleep.
The sleep as deep as the stupor
of a newborn after feeding
from an overflowing breast.
The very breast that held me close
enough to hear the heart of everything,
especially my own mother.
My mother forever stilled
in photographs in an abandoned camera,
broken but alive inside.
The inside of a mirror,
the way the reflection echoes an image
boundless yet lost to glass.
The glass he held before he downed
his last concoction of pills, one hand
embracing water, the other death.
Death defies the eavesdroppers long enough
to overhear the sound hoofs or the deer
and the shallow fracas of those who never heard it coming.
Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is a seven-time Pushcart nominee as well as a four-time Best of the Net nominee. She is the 2012 winner of the Red Ochre Press Chapbook contest with her manuscript Before I Go to Sleep. She has authored several chapbooks along with a full-length collection of poems: Hasty Notes in No Particular Order (Aldrich Press, 2013). Her work has appeared in a wide variety of online and print magazines including: The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Poets and Artists, War, Literature and the Arts, and many more. According to family lore she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson. www.clgrellaspoetry.com