Published Humanitas, Volume IX, No. 2, 1996


After the thorn
I made myself such, Barbaric, forlorn
To all that I touch.

A rose has a way
Of wanting, instead, Something more to stay A hand than dread.

—Heidy Anne Steidlmayer

Two Women In a Revolving Door

My mother digresses
Into doors that keep repeating The same story over.
I am ushered into a hush
Which echoes my fear of turning Into her, an old woman Occluding the doors before me Whose voice is my voice
When I say behind her back This is not my story—
And push her out of the way.

—Heidy Anne Steidlmayer


To my mind, this mad contraption Sprang from the lonely
Hope of knowing planets.

Sad amplitudes of clocky junk
Crank moons and tiny globes of granite.

The ratchets interlock like asterisks To star this, star the flying planets I have made, and watch,

This one moves retrograde.

—Heidy Anne Steidlmayer


We pick sides, polar, The pull, unspoken.

Division, it’s a start. Togetherness, but a token

To wish for the better Part of something broken.

—Heidy Anne Steidlmayer