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Unlit Hours and a Tiny Room that Remains Shut

Behind a closet door, wooden shelves
warp from heaviness. Three books
closed long ago stand together

like little soldiers guarding a village
from intruders. One never knows
if turning the page might upset

the hush of peace, lost history
pressed shut beneath the cover
of darkness. Half-yellowed

from fading, a little dolly wedges
between for protection; head
slumped from brokenness, one right

shoe lost to darkness somewhere over
the years. I can hear her calling
the names of loved ones through

the keyhole. One day I will answer
her dejectedness. One day I will offer
her my condolences for solitary confinement−

one day I will tell her I’m sorry for deserting
her in the midst of martyrdom. One day
I will replace her missing shoe

when I have the courage to search
the apocalyptic rubble, when I have
the nerve to pry it loose from the dead.

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is a six-time Pushcart nominee and Best of the Net nominee. She is the recent winner of the Red Ochre Press Chapbook contest with her entry Before I Go to Sleep. She has authored several chapbooks along with her latest full-length collection of poems: Hasty Notes in No Particular Order, newly released from Aldrich Press. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of online and print magazines including: The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Able Muse, Poets and Artists, War, Literature and the Arts and many more. According to family lore she is a direct descendent of Robert Louis Stevenson. Visit Carol's website here.