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The Swallow’s Begging Call

I didn’t know we forgave each other
until we became one voice, supple
as magnolia leaves falling off a lazy
tongue on the blush of beige and whispers.

I didn’t know it was the sound
of her violin but I heard music within
more gorgeous than any harmony ever
aligned in a garden of flowers already opened.

I didn’t know I’d witness a miracle
when glass broke to a thousand splintered
parts mirroring the sun’s reflection
that echoed every passing face of heaven.

I didn’t know her skin would blend
to mine, her tepid body still damp
from the effort of breathing as I felt
her heart move through me, vast

as unconditional love, unbearable
as the silence of leaving…


My husband says I sleepwalk most
nights although I don’t recall

the inattentive trail I take, down
the hallway, I can only remember

the urge to tell him something
forgotten and the sound of gibberish

being made through a haze of wanting
to wake, the heaviness that holds

me in an unconscious state of being
and the knowledge that someday

I might not know the difference.


All the Things I’ve Never Read in Poems

The way my blind dog sleeps in the tub;
her porcelain cocoon from twilight till dawn
without water and no lights on.

How two popsicle sticks seemed beautiful the day
they marked the hamster’s grave near the swing
set by the magnolia with save me scribbled
in purple crayon.

One potpourri heart that hangs from the lamp’s
toggle beneath the shade, with a ribbon
made of twine dangling in a golden braid
older than god or so I’m told.

A book of prayers resting in my dresser
drawer with a birthday note, my father’s
name inscribed and a tad of doodling
I think he wrote.

The locket in my jewelry box with dimples
left like a raindrop’s dented charm from the days
my babies grabbed the chain and cut their teeth
while I held them in my arms.

And the way the scent of opium still lingers
in the air, when I hold my mother’s coat,
the one she’d wear everyday stored inside a closet,
somewhere between now and yesterday.


Copyright © 2011 Carol Lynn Grellas

Carol Lynn Grellas is a four-time Pushcart nominee and a 2010 Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of five chapbooks, Breakfast in Winter (Flutter Press 2010) Litany of Finger Prayers (Pudding House Press 2009) Object of Desire (Finishing Line Press 2008), A Thousand Tiny Sorrows (March Street Press 2010), The Butterfly Room (Big Table 2010) and two electronic chaps: Desired Things (Goldwake Press 2009) To the Children (Victorian Violet Press 2010). Her collection, The Epistemology of an Odd Girl will be forthcoming from Diminuendo Press. Carol Lynn lives in El Dorado Hills, California.