With apologies to Emily Dickinson

Three poems by Barbara Lydecker Crane

“Soap” is the thing that lathers

— with apologies to Emily Dickinson

  • “Soap” is the thing that lathers —
  • The Dial I exalt —
  • A bobbing bird of Ivory —
  • That never sinks — at all —
  • Caress to my extremities —
  • Reviving Zest — so warm —
  • Irish Spring from grimy mine —
  • A Lifebuoy — after storm —
  • I seek to hold this little Dove —
  • That skirts my bathtub sea —
  • But always — when it slips and slides —
  • It Coasts on back to me.

No, I was the slightest in the house

— with further apologies to Emily Dickinson

  • I was a bedbug in that house —
  • I dwelt in Emily’s eider.
  • No heaven ever equaled this —
  • My bliss to sleep beside Her.
  • So stationed — I could sip Her tears —
  • Such piquant wine would fall —
  • And, oh — Her flesh — it was exquisite!
  • For me, sweet E. was all.
  • I never moved from that address —
  • Nor She — how well we matched.
  • All day I’d listen to Her pen —
  • And fingers — as they scratched.
  • I’ve wondered much about Her ways —
  • What seemed Her lack of sense —
  • But who am I to cast a slur —
  • On mite-y Providence?

Snack Attack

  • Beware the birds with leathery cheeks,
  • wizened heads and razor beaks:
  • black vultures in the Everglades
  • can tear off windshield wiper blades.
  • Parking signage warns it’s true
  • but no one knows why vultures do.
  • Do wipers look like licorice sticks
  • to spice a scavenged party mix?
  • Do wipers serve as dental floss
  • to rid their beaks of dinner dross?
  • They must be chewy, like the tendons
  • of carrion these birds depend on.
  • So look alive, lest vultures chew
  • the tendons idling inside you.

Barbara Lydecker Crane has published two chapbooks, Zero Gravitas (White Violet Press, 2012) and ALPHABETRICKS (for children, Daffydowndilly Press, 2013). The winner of the 2011 Helen Schaible International Sonnet Contest and a Laureate’s Choice award in the 2014 Great River Sonnet Contest, she has recent poems in Atlanta Review, First Things, Light, and Parody.

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