Eyes stare – horses slowly prance
pass – to share a path –
At night fall people gather on a wide plank
wooden porch –
The Balsams – aware, now – no one is here.
In my room – I am drawn to the window –
a pair of eyes stare back at me.
A handle twists on a wooden door but no one enters.
Kneeling at a window my eyes search
between balsams as I tilt my head up – toward
My feet feel cold, my body tired – two days
side by side with Mother inside a carriage
on sandy slopes, a mountains path
yet sleep does not pull me from the window.
I don’t move, leave, in my mind I am locked
inside – and I know I have been here before –
at this very spot on knees peering at the trees.
Once a stranger told me I lived deep within
a forest, where parchment paper strewn from
room to room – unfinished writing – hands of maids
and servants cleaned what surrounded me. Left for
them to read.
My head rests against a satin wall as I sit on a loveseat,
satin touches my skin – I walk to a window to rub fingers
across stained glass – see men in fancy suits with red
carnations, who wear white gloves – fetch me- to greet
a stranger. A young girl like me – her hand lifts a
light blue dress, a hoop beneath slips toward the moon –
she steps from a carriage, a parasol covers sunlight, dancing.
She disappeared – I am alone once again – a reflection
returns to my window – I see a wooden fence
clutching at the lowest branches of the balsams – now
I am small – auburn hair fixed in ringlets – as men
in black suits and top hats stare at a child fidgeting.
No one smiles, but I hear the tapping of their canes – I
do not lift my head – perhaps they are leaving.
A summer sun lightened golden blonde hair; it is my
my face – not a stranger out the window – it was my hand
who recklessly lifted a satin dress – as feet slapped
against a stone path beneath the white roof at the
entrance – I see my own reflection looking back through
“Don’t touch the flowers,” the old man gardener in
dirty clothes nearly slaps my hand within a rose garden
and I smile to reach and pluck a dead – bloom, lifeless dropping
petals – he shakes his head and walks away.
I heard talking, but no one is here – so I walked knowing I
could discuss the day with two lions of marble at this pathways
end. I have spoken to these lions, before.
A beautiful woman – draped with lace walks past me toward
the garden gate – she carries brilliant red roses, wears a large brim hat –
she turned, motioned for me to follow then she faded in the sunshine.
Who was she?
Another night, another time to sit alone on a loveseat – the woman
in lace no longer holds onto red roses but a doll dressed in a light
shade of blue – matching her satin dress – a veil covered her face.
As if traveling backwards, I return to the room changing in
size – staring to the sky as I search for star’s – a ball of orange set
in the west – so I begin to draw a ladies face, partially concealed
who held red roses in the garden – who smiled but never spoke.
cannot recall a doll hidden in my room –
Last night – a dream when I held a doll whose eyes
were covered by fog, her dress once blue as a morning dew – robbed
her eyes – as blue as the sky – fog sheds mist on green grass – fog
coated he blue eyes as if clouds were her veil.
Dew has covered the window pane – still at the Balsam,
remembering last nights dream – I hear a carriage beneath my
window – opened now to view the day – as a woman in white lace
lifts her gloved hand to wave, she smiles, gently steps into her
seat, and I watch her carriage leave – then turn to see her doll –
She rests alone, no shade of light blue or shoes, no eyes
can be seen through her fog, a cracked face – I feel her pain.
“Who are you?” as if she could talk or move her distorted face.
Last night a dream brought her home – and you are gone – again.