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With Rapunzel

by Hannah Calkin

I am hidden     Back between

The mountain next to the stillest river

And the one so high it has conversations

With the clouds     Sometimes the pines

Anger the stomach of the hanging wisps

And it rains on the tower roof     In this cylinder

I have my favorite pie recipe    Cherry and spun cream

My favorite brush     It loses seven bristles

Every moon cycle    And my softest apron

With my name embroidered in red     The stitching

Spaced a fingernail apart     Missing the first two letters

Punzel    Punzel

Mother rocks in a chair at the edge of the forest

A speck beside the winking pond

Sometimes I see a salmon jump sideways

But there’s no splash

She brings me berries and rosemary

That’s when I ask about the salmon

The water from the well was all

I drank

And she told me the salmon drink it too

My, my, a landscape so green and blue

I’d smear the colors under my nose

But I can’t reach their taste

From my perch so    Once I climbed the vines

They caught my hair     And ripped a strand

Once I tied a message to a stranger’s wings

But the thing cried and twitched

So I held it like I would a dripping handful of blueberries

Then to the soil-pot of some saggy gardenias

I steered its beak and watched it peck

I pretended we both had teeth and mimicked its nibbles

With nothing to chew but air and saliva

Eventually I bit a petal

And it melted like sugar

The sweet was the smallest maze of relief

In the space I was built to live     Guarded by married brick

And cement     Where swallows dive between the open shutters

When mother returns I tuck away    My shiny dreams

I say the light outside is too bright    Let’s stay by the fire


About the Author:



Hannah Calkin was born and raised in South Portland, Maine. She recently graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington with a B.F.A. in Creative Writing and was awarded the 2018 Creative Writing Award for excellence by the faculty. Her first book of poetry, Pomegranate Odyssey, will be available from Unsolicited Press in August 2019.


Archive, The River

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