The HyperTexts

Wendy Sloan

Wendy Sloan's poems have appeared in Iambs & Trochees, Measure, Blue Unicorn, Umbrella, Mezzo Cammin and The Raintown Review. A translation (of Leopardi) was published in The Chimaera. Sloan was a finalist in the 2006 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award Competition.

The Two Sisters

She still forgets to lock her kitchen door.
A life-long habit doesn't go away
though no one comes to visit anymore.

In time for morning coffee, or before,
her sister would come over every day,
so she forgets to lock her kitchen door.

On summer days, they'd munch the sour store
of gooseberries, and dish the hours away.
But no one comes to visit anymore.

It's over seven years now since they bore
her sister to the cemetery bay.
Still, she neglects to lock her kitchen door.

The oven's cold now, and the soiled floor
can go without a washing one more day
as no one comes to visit anymore.

And whether they will reach that shaded shore
or meet only in visions, who can say?
She still forgets to lock her kitchen door
though no one comes to visit anymore.

Originally published in Umbrella Journal

Women's Work

Twelve dollars took the box of antique lace
and linens, as the hasty gavel fell.
Later at home unpacking, she can tell
she got a bargain: finely crocheted place
mats, quaint embroidered guest towels, napkins, heaps
of doilies, table runners—all hand-done.
A woman's work of hours contrived each one
only to wrap and pack away for keeps.
The auctioneer had sketched a few brief clues:
a country homestead, maybe a trousseau
left in a trunk a century ago.
And after all, they're much too good to use.
She smoothes away the wrinkles, lays the best
on top, and stores them in her cedar chest.

This poem appeared in Measure and was a finalist for the 2006 Nemerov Award

Dead Young Thing

"Leave it out back," he said. "No one will know".
And no one did. And no one cared or thought
about us. Why would they? I went to school
like everybody else. I looked the same—
a little quieter. Yeah, I was scared,
mostly at night. The daytime was all right

until I started feeling sick again.
I prayed the faint would go away. It did,
but I kept getting bigger and I hid
myself in looser clothes. He never stopped
before or after. Anyway, I knew
he never would. I left it, like he said,
inside the dumpster by the courtyard stair.
Then we would go on like we had before,
but this one cried, and lived, and we got caught.

I still can't sleep at night. I have this dream:
he picks me up, I'm screaming as I fall
down on the garbage slime. You see, it's me
was dead for him, right from the start. Since I"m
in jail, I've got a better place to be.

Originally published in The Raintown Review

The HyperTexts