Poetry from JD DeHart


Welcome to the Cottage
First Published at Bluepepper
or should I say, welcome back?
These are the wooden slatted floors
where you first learned
about the predilection of old ladies
in the woods to be villains, to have
ovens, to possess poison apples,
to woo children away from breadcrumb
trails; the same spot where you
learned about the flash and dash
of princes, how often beautiful maidens
fall asleep and must be rescued,
the tender-hearted fair ladies whose
ruddy cheeks decorated so many
late night reads before bed,
and I couldn’t help but notice you
striking a match, preparing to burn down
the cottage, and build your own version
of the world’s story now you are grown.
Beheaded Sheep Figure
First published at Red River Review
The budding voices have died away
Leaving the empty room with confetti
Spread on the rarely clean floor
Small tokens of their presence
In the middle of the room, beneath a table
A plastic sheep, the head chewed off
An abandoned Old Testament sacrifice.
Gorilla Keeper
He is master of the dark shape
with the round gray stomach,
and the tendency to charge.
He is like one of them, with large
When he speaks, there is the peace
of trees and shade.
The calm of working with great
creatures of strength.
Girl with a Munch Face 
She is the screamer who I imagine
standing at the open mouth of a bridge,
figure trying to leave the rest of the world
and all she knows behind her, the sign post
of familiarity dimming in the distance
I imagine the smell of family life
and common voices fading quickly
She is the elongated face and I wish I could
offer a rescue, not because she needs it
but because I need to rescue someone; simply
put, it is my sensitivity, the desire to hold up
a leaking world that is probably more
in a position to help me instead.
Full Height 
She used to sit in the corner
rocking in her old-style chair,
an antique they brought in so
she could play her domestic role,
pretending to know how to knit
the results were knotted
chunks of twigs and twine
they, in turn, pretended they might
one day attempt to wear
while she cradled herself
back and forth, the family thought,
My, how tiny
but then she began to flail
her arms one day and burst
the chair into splinters
and revealed her true height.
A Study of the Tantrum 
of course, now we record
them using the variegated
lenses we carry on our person
but I remember a time
when a being could thrash
and shout and the only
evidence was the casual
eyewitness or security cam
I even recall a time when,
to my ultimate Chagrin, I myself
engaged in a small tantrum
and thankfully there was no one
to hold it up like hieroglyphs
on our digital cave wall.

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