• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 12
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A Game of Keys

Grandma kept her secrets locked
up in a heart-shaped box,

black heart, padded with red velvet.
Imagine the darkest,

night you’ve ever known,
lined with firelight.

If you could get inside, you’d find
a small inglenook. A rocking chair.
The blue atrium filled with love letters.
And a hundred gold watches

all stopped at seven o’clock.
Deep inside the central chamber -

a beautiful young woman,
dressed in pink tulle,

smiling, dancing,
whether she wanted to or not.

The hearts in my family
are the stuff of legend.


A Game of Keys

Stones with swords stuck in them.
Mostly they are locked chests

filled with a mess of hard lessons,
maps, secrets, deadly weapons.

Some are locked forever,
thrown into the river.

Some give the keys away
for safe-keeping.

I’ve hung mine on the electric fence
by the oak tree,

between the sinking sand
and the cemetery.