reading to the pale amorphous child sun room in winter the white wicker the rich wicked rich she
liked to hear over and over in her swimsuit a mass of curls puffy belly already by then she hid
food a lesson learned by none on the couch over and over the same story her wax face the long
legs in swimsuit for the blue indoor pool to ruffle outside cardinals blood red on the snow read it
again look the page dark eyed child with a future of pills stairs ruin collapse under bad men
worse women blurry ignored child reading the same winter story until spring and then never
spring again the letter buried why I would not come back for her jail and fall and grasp the blue
grass the luck to have escaped to walk out on the same story over and over free for years out of
the blue one red bird on the branch alone face the trunk eyes touch repeat on the screen it is her


Merridawn Duckler is a poet, playwright from Portland, Oregon. Recent poetry in TAB: Journal of Poetry and Poetics (best of the web nomination), International Psychoanalysis, Really System, Rivet Journal, Rogue Agent, Unbroken Journal, The Offing, forthcoming Blue Lyra, Free State Review, Yellow Chair Review, Otis Nebula, Crab Creek Review, Literary Orphan, Birds Piled Loosely. Runner-up for the poetry residency at the Arizona Poetry Center, judged by Farid Matuk. Finalist at Center for Book Arts and Tupelo Press. Recent prose in Poetica and Defenestration.  Finalist for the 2016 Sozoplo Fiction Fellowship. Fellowships/awards include Writers@Work, NEA, Yaddo, Squaw Valley, SLS in St. Petersburg, Russia, Southampton Poetry Conference with Billy Collins, others. She’s an editor at Narrative and the international philosophy journal Evental Aesthetics.