Lady Sidewalk

[img_assist|nid=10084|title=Eileen Moeller|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=162|height=209]wears a red

                                mud coat


festooned with

                                guttural skulls

                                                and rusty mice.


Her daddy made it for her.

Her daddy made it!

Her daddy sewed it with his tiny hands

and frog shuttered needles.


Her hair is a bulky tumor

on the back of her head

                that hasn’t been combed in years.


She says it’s

                                  someone following her –

                                                  an adversarial eavesdrop

                                                                  she couldn’t forget about.


Until a policeman gave her,

a policeman handed it right over!

Gives her this beautiful hat out of nowhere,

says it’s made of nail holes.

Where he got it, she don’t know,


She wears it askew

                                as she dances in yipping green

                                                bramble shoes through

                                                                the blindness of June as it turns to night.



Lady Sidewalk leans back on a park bench

                                and reaches up with both hands

                                                to pull the star blanket down around her.


Her sleep is yellow stained,

                                knotted like rope, a dream

                                                heaving toward itself, a school a

                                                                flounders that won’t be thrown back.


She’ll mutter till dawn,

                                                her words cut flowers bending away

                                                                from one of them pretty blue bottles,

                                                                                that used to hold Milk of Magnesia


Her laughter at this, is hard and cold as

                                                a soot covered snow pile

                                                                hanging on after the end of winter.


Lady Sidewalk does not

                                                burn off

the way the dew does.

Days, she haunts our eyes.


Eileen Moeller lives in center city Philadelphia, PA. She has poems in Paterson Literary Review, SugarMule, Ars Medica, and forthcoming in Schuykill Valley Review. Access her blog: And So I Sing at


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