My aunts swear they can read
me like some sage psychic
who points to my chest
and tells me my first night alone
begins at three minutes to midnight.
Their gossip could be the first
lines of my best poem, until, one by one,
their autumn-like hands run wild, talking
over gusts of words as if
their too-smudged fingers already
had written my ballet's last chapter.
It takes strength to keep a stone
afloat, to leave nothing old
unsaid, to not lie
on the floor and cry.
Even my little dog knows
I am no Cinderella at the dance,
though I did once lose a solitary slipper—
how it fell from that high hill, like a leaf
long before winter's stars died.
© 2015 Maureen E. Doallas