Rust – by Barbara Daniels

We have a good room,
says the woman
strapped to the bed

beside me, trees
below us, cars

in the hospital
parking lot.
I heard the doctor

tell her she’s dying.
I heard her lie
to her daughter.

As a child I lay
at dusk by an open
window. A cardinal

called, true to
its scarlet color.
Why did I want

to die then? Dried
vines curled like
worms through holes

in the rusted screen.
I lay in the dark
and what was within

the darkness. Yes,
I say, we’re lucky
to have this room.

Barbara Daniels’ book, Rose Fever, was published by WordTech Press and her chapbooks, Black Sails, Quinn & Marie, and Moon Kitchen, by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. Casa de Cinco Hermanas will also be publishing her full-length book, Talk to the Lioness. Barbara’s poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, and other journals. She received three fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Painting: “Brew”
Artist: Henry L. Jones
2019 – 16×20 inches – mixed media on canvas