Portland Review

Publishing exceptional local and international writing and art since 1956.

Dorothy Tries

by Rochelle Hurt

What pilgrim shadows—

how stubbornly they tail you,  

children better left at home.

The tawny stalker slinks, sour  

puss following that silver marauder—  

always after your heart, girl.

You are dragging  

yourselves toward paradise:  

one brick, one brick. 

By now your feet are swollen,

the size of pomegranates,  

pulsing fuchsia inside

hand-me-down pumps.

They’ll callous your feet in no time.

How cheap you look. And how long

can you carry this limp  

man, throat full of straw, all impotence  

and good intentions. If I could 

find my heart in here, you say  

to the world, searching  

your basket, I could make it love you.

But all you find inside

is the little ashen dog  

drooling on the sandwiches.

Rochelle Hurt lives in North Carolina. She is a graduate of the MFA program at UNC Wilmington, and a recipient of awards from Poetry International, Hunger Mountain, Arts & Letters, and the Jentel Artist Residency program. More of her poetry and prose can be found in recent or upcoming issues of the Cincinnati Review, Versal, the New Delta Review, and the Bellingham Review.

  • 12 July 2011
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