The Stag by Tricia Marcella Cimera

The Stag

I crouch in the ferns in a forest by the road,
staring at my car: the shattered windshield,

the crushed hood, the glass. . . .and blood.
My husband’s suit hangs twisted in the bag,

my terrified dog has fled.. I can’t remember
exactly when the Stag leapt at me, crashed

through the window, held me down with his
hoofs.. His eyes.. . How long did he hold me?

I don’t know.  Long enough.. . .He told me
his secrets, I woke from being like. . . .dead.

Now I crouch in the ferns in a forest by the road,
bones and guts and blood leaping in my skin,

skirt and blouse torn off, hair hanging down.
I will never go back to my house, my husband,

his perfect suits, the spineless dog.. . . .I will
follow the Stag.. . . . .This is what is meant

when they talk of being. . . . . . . . . .saved.

by Tricia Marcella Cimera

Editor’s Note: This poem was the first prize winner of College of DuPage’s Emerging Writers Contest 2017, and it is easy to see why—the startling narrative supports the speaker’s journey to redemption from the depths of a frightening (or perhaps fortuitous) crash.

From the archives – Go Slow, Leonard Cohen by Tricia Marcella Cimera

Go Slow, Leonard Cohen

I had a dream Leonard Cohen
was my first and I was his last.
Go slow don’t hurt me, I whispered.
Go slow don’t kill me, he warned.
He taught me why the yellow dog
howls when the pink rose blooms
in the dark of night while the rain
runs in rivulets down the window.
He showed me that sometimes I
would be the dog, sometimes I
would be the rose. But both of us
were always the rain. And to
go slow. The end would come
soon enough.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, February 2, 2017 — by Tricia Marcella Cimera

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim.

Cashew by Tricia Marcella Cimera

Cashew

The old man at my door
hands me the bag of Chinese food,
quietly wishes me good luck.
I eat my egg roll, then
open the cashew chicken.
Where are the cashews,
I mutter darkly, as I push
fat pieces of pepper around.
I find exactly eight nuts.
They’re big but I want more.
Afterwards, I crack my cookie,
study the fortune inside. You will
find what you are looking for
it says. Ha I say. My cat stares
with his cryptic white face.
Later that evening I sleep
deeply. I don’t see the moon
curved like a cashew in the sky,
smiling down at me; I don’t
see my cat dancing dreamily
in its pale light before coming to
sit beside me, how he raises his paw
like those little statues, whispers
good luck. . .

by Tricia Marcella Cimera

Editor’s Note: This poem’s narrative voice is a delight because it is so real, right up until the dreamlike conclusion.

Go Slow, Leonard Cohen by Tricia Marcella Cimera

Go Slow, Leonard Cohen

I had a dream Leonard Cohen
was my first and I was his last.
Go slow don’t hurt me, I whispered.
Go slow don’t kill me, he warned.
He taught me why the yellow dog
howls when the pink rose blooms
in the dark of night while the rain
runs in rivulets down the window.
He showed me that sometimes I
would be the dog, sometimes I
would be the rose. But both of us
were always the rain. And to
go slow. The end would come
soon enough.

by Tricia Marcella Cimera

Editor’s Note: Repetition meanders through this poem’s lines to great effect. The beginning and the end surely resemble each other.