Curiouser and Curiouser – by Melissa Greene

I’ve grown large beside my father or
maybe he shrank
to his actual size.

Someone who resists
the potions that might bring him back,
insists instead

on meditations in numbers,
puttering around a dusty garage.
The white rabbit and his pocket watch,

he ticks down the days
till the Chevy’s next oil change.
As a child I tumbled down

into his tackle box—
reds, yellows and greens,
feathers, worms and shiny hooks.

The toolbox, its delightful jangling
bolts kept from the nuts,
the click of ratchet heads,

wrench sets sorted according to size,
hex keys, mysterious gadgets
for solving problems

I’d yet to encounter.
I made the spaces mean
what I needed them to mean.

I molded them
into holding grounds,
play grounds and sacred grounds,

places to erect a self
on sturdy ground,
but now I’m left

with an organized man
who stretches tidy strips of masking tape
along the tops of paint cans,

marks the date of their last use
or expiration. Oblivious
to the true size of our lives—

the curiosity of denial
like a book
with no pictures.

Melissa Greene is a psychotherapist with a private practice in Nashville, TN. She teaches Artist’s Way courses as well as Personal Growth and Creativity at MTSU. Melissa is a fiction writer and poet with poems published in such publications as The Phoenix, New Millennium Writings, and the poetry anthology All Around Us: Poems from the Valley, published by the Knoxville Writers Guild.

Photographer’s Note: The photo uses symbolism in an attempt to simply convey the vivid imagery portrayed by the writer.  The glasses symbolize a person watching a loved one physically or mentally spiraling downward (the positioning of the text) into a rabbit’s hole, so to speak.  A section of the photo is focused, with the remainder out of focus.  This signifies the myriad of emotions from clarity to frustration to confusion that accompany both parties during this journey.  But through it all, love remains (note the shadow created by the glasses). And finally, I definitely wanted to incorporate something more concrete to represent the extent of the poem’s Alice in Wonderland references.  Thus, the actual text from one version of the book.