Though I’m very kidlit focused these days, I’ve been a part of many incredible projects over the years. I just pulled this wonderful anthology off my shelf, Not a Muse: The Inner Lives of Women, a World Poetry Anthology, ed. Kate Rogers and Viki Holmes, Haven Books (July 2010). 

My poem, SHOEBOX OF MY LIFE, was included in the section: woman as KEEPER OF SECRETS (page 376)

 

SHOEBOX OF MY LIFE

Erica Lyons

 

I left her there

inside that room.

A pool of red tears

claims ownership to

her discarded poplin dress

and forgotten words.

 

An infestation of ineffectual language.

Solitary letters

cut off from their word source

scamper away

into the hungry mouth of the dark closet.

 

I silently flee

Yet her syllables and broken syntax

Still stick to me.

 

I peel them off

to hide inside

the shoebox of my life

where crimson couplets,

faded cards of lost time

and insincere sentiments

are locked away

 

But there is a slow shame in silent secrets

For there is an inherent danger

in collecting red tears.

silent screams

and the ghost of men

dead to me now

inside a cardboard box.

 

First the edges begin to fray.

Then layers of time

slowly peel

and out lost words spill out.

 

What legacy is left to tell my daughter?

I am the last of the silent children

of silent me,

Because I say that I am.