by Rose Menyon Heflin

Too far gone
to save yourself,
you start dragging the monkeys
down with you
into the depths of your hell,
burdening them with wings,
not unlike the Wicked Witch of the West –
angels in the making –

Because gone are the days
when you contradanced both parts,
alternately leading and following,
with your skirts swirling round your ankles
and a fine sheen of sweat glistening on your brow
as your boots stomped out a rhythm,
guided by the band
led by fiddle and mandolin.

So, now you let bygones be bygones,
despite the crawling in your soul
and that desperate creaking for revenge
that you feel deep down
in the very marrow of your bones
as it whispers up your spine –
another voice in your head,
someone else you do not listen to –

Because in reality, it’s all gone to hell
in an Amish-woven handbasket
along the bumpy, unpaved scenic route,
riddled with potholes, washouts,
and deep four by four truck ruts
and littered with all the garbage
people were too lazy and too cheap
to haul off all the way to the county dump.


Rose Menyon Heflin is a writer and artist who was born and raised in rural Southern Kentucky. She now lives in Wisconsin, where the winters are cruel and the barbecue is bad. Her writing has appeared in numerous journals spanning four continents, and her poetry won a Merit Award from Arts for All Wisconsin. One of her poems was choreographed and performed by a local dance troupe. Additionally, she had an ekphrastic creative nonfiction piece featured in the Chazen Museum of Art’s Companion Species exhibit.  Her recent and forthcoming poetry publications include Brown Bag Online, Defunkt Magazine, Fauxmoir, Feral, Great Lakes Review, Poemeleon, sPARKLE & bLINK, SPLASH!, Star*Line and W.E.I.R.D.

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