Magic Lamp

Margaret D. Stetz

the bright sound
of metal on china
with the penny she drops
a hundred times over
into the base
of the green ceramic lamp
shaped like a wishing well
she thinks
of the tiny people
who might own
the tiny bucket
         and if they asked
she would go with them
out of her bedroom
to their village
of pottery
she would find
her own lamp
shiny and cool
and live in it
all alone
sleeping by day
waking at night
when the lightbulb came on
         she would be silent
         and safe
         too small to be found
         she would shrink
         she would go
         and miss no one and nothing
she tells herself
the marks
from a dog’s metal leash
on her legs
the welts
from a man’s leather belt
on her back

Margaret D. Stetz is the Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women’s Studies and Professor of Humanities at the University of Delaware. She has spent her life teaching and writing about literature, but still finds it hard to reconcile academia with the world she knew as a working-class child in Queens, New York. Many of her poems reflect this class-based tension, along with issues such as domestic violence and abuse. Recently, her poetry has appeared in A Plate of Pandemic, Dark Matter, Hare’s Paw, Kerning, Mono, Review Americana, West Trestle Review, ExistereAzureNew Verse News, and other journals.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close