Mercedes Lawry


She too dusty, Mama said.
Don’t play with her, too much
liquor in that house. Stay clear.

I watched out the window, her spinning
and hanging off the apple bough.
She humming, whispering to crows.
Why can’t I twirl and laugh with her?
We stay in the yard. She look nice enough.

There’s trouble in her eyes, Mama said.

I couldn’t see it. I watched her all afternoon
from behind curtains. She was sometimes
like a fairy. I expect she knows magic.
I would like to also know.

One day the police came in a commotion.
Then everything pulled out, put in a truck.
I don’t see her again.

Death in that house, Mama said. Didn’t I say trouble?

Was fairy-girl dead? Didn’t ask. I’ll just think
of her spinning and humming, gone
somewhere sweet, aching with light.

Mercedes Lawry’s most recent book is Vestiges from Kelsay Books. She’s published three chapbooks and poems in journals such as Nimrod and Alaska Quarterly Review. She’s also published short fiction and stories and poems for children. Her book Small Measures is forthcoming from ELJ Editions, Ltd. in 2024.