I spoke to the mirror
twisted my spine
it curved red ribbon
around a carousel
it cracked beneath
the shirt’s silk:
a snap like black plastic
freshness, each vertebra
tilted like a smile

then, we were busy
buttoning coats and
burying the bother
of a father taken too early
by a man drinking
rum from a tumbler
the father, a king
of kingdoms, older
than her, had a reason
to say good-bye, that day

before me, the curve
of a cardboard box:
yesterday’s sweater,
an opal violet vase,
a cold resting wrench
slippers still ugly,
letters from her past.
I sit here and cry
in my idle bridal attire

Kimberly K. Kelly has written three novels, three collections of contemporary poetry, six children’s books, and two published historical-fiction books. She is completing a fourth and fifth collection of poetry and continues to be inspired by daily discoveries, unexpected idiosyncrasies, and the quest for answers through unexpected experiences. Ms. Kelly was born in Minnesota and raised in Alaska. She earned a B.S. in Creative Writing from Northern Arizona University and a M.A. in [Interpersonal] Communications from University of Wisconsin–Superior. She has been writing since 1985, lived in three countries and has travelled to 28, and lives in northern Wisconsin with her partner of 20 years. She prides herself on being a problem solver through plain poetry and mindful musing.