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  • Writer's pictureAnne Mitchell

Broken Records Still Make Music

Rue nothing.

Not the yellow jacket Cliff’s Notes skimmed

In place of The Scarlet Letter, not

the TV Cinderella you sang along with to be glass-slippered,

while mom stung, “there are no Prince Charmings”, not

the lover you left bewildered in black tie

to hail a cab in stained emerald satin,

the one who beat you to the divorce,

a slither out the cellar door, not

the one who offered 100 camels for you at Giza,

made you promise never to settle,

and then you did, don’t regret them. Not

the nights you cried out for the baby

you left behind between Art History and Basketball,

eyelashes glued to pink pillows while fear

sneak-previewed your future under the overpass

with several cats and a shopping cart.

You were meant to clean pecker trails from Swiss

sheets, fish guest hair from drains with tweezers,

tea-stain bathmats for billionaires,

some Devil’s bargain for Black Watch plaid uniforms,

orthodontia, and a daughter wondering why

all the kids drive Teslas.

You’ve swallowed the world whole,

still you are starved. Lament not

one morsel of lost in travel, not

one of the trains that took you nowhere

but to another stock photo cafe

on a village square your journal an avalanche beacon,

not wanting, but hoping to be found.

You have lain in deep grass alongside

bad choices, you bit down on leather through snake bites,

now rise in the calm of a specter’s white dress.

Harmless in her haunting. Oblivious of your ethers.

Quiet now. Close the lid to your toolbox. Let’s walk

the beach where the egrets face the wind one-legged

on a carpet of Kelp.

Thank you to Dorriane Laux and inspiration from her poem Antilamentation


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