Here she sits,
paper in hand,
citizen of this strange land.
Its rosy outcroppings,
smooth cliffs soft as cushions,
where baby hands used to rappel
down to the lips
to receive her kisses.
that is her face,
with its random bumps and splotches, this pink escarpment.
this place of blue pools,
surrounded by tiny black fences,
this tickle of eyelash,
tease of memory,
With its little cave
full of chipped teeth
and moist heat: her breath
that came in waves and waves
At times she turns the kaleidoscope. Her face is Aunt Lou’s
her mother’s face.
She sees both grandmothers at once, and the father she never
really wanted to look like.
She comes to the mirror often;
has these moments
that feel like sleepless nights,
mother slaps, sick children
who won’t be comforted.
It leaves her feeling thin
and wispy as smoke
from a Sunday barbecue.
But then there’s always
the dream self made of paper,
the one immune to nun pinch,
brother tease, boss poke.
Each hurt gleams like a Chinese lantern
as she strings them
across the page.
She’ll never be without these waves
that come crashing in on her from
her former lives, will she?.
They are her torment,
her pulse beat.
What will her newest one be like?
Fresh and green as a rainforest?
Tucked in close to the shadow
of a volcano? When death begins
to stalk her, she can take him
for a walk. Then push, and she’ll be
watching him fall into the magma,
Okay, so she’ll ready herself
for a gradual fading. But there’ll be
none of that disappearing without a trace.
Eileen Moeller lives in Philadelphia,, Pennsylvania. She has an
Creative Writing from Syracuse University, where she taught
writing for many
years. For many years she has also worked as a storyteller, and
teaching artist in Arts in Education. She currently teaches at
of Art and Design. Her poems have appeared in literary journals
Comstock Review, Feminist Studies, Paterson Literary Review,
Fifth Review, and Philadelphia Stories, and in anthologies:
Poet's City, Cries of the Spirit: A Celebration of Women's
Claiming the Spirit Within: A Sourcebook of Women's Poetry (
Fine China: Twenty Years of Earth's Daughters, and The Nerve:
of 1998 (Virago) A website manuscript: Body in Transit, appears
www.skinnycatdesign.co.uk/eileen/index2.html , Her blog titled
And So I Sing
can be accessed at http://eileenmoeller.blogspot.com/