Poetry from Cheryl Snell

Death of the Teacher

You make for the lobby’s tattered chair,
your spine’s ladder a leash for collarbones
and windmill limbs blocking out the sun
patched with glare that throbs against your eyes
filled with clouds and the shadow of a thread
endlessly snapping, the blinding light stinging  
until you must drop your eyes to the stripe
glowing magenta on the rug which,
if you follow it, might take you out
of this hospital, however many
possibilities braid the unspoken
with the unexplained and hold themselves out
to you as you sit there, sipping the coffee
he left when his name was called, the last thing
he ever drank, and here you are, still drinking it,
cold, trapped inside your own geometry.



It’s spring. A punk in a convertible lops off all the mail boxes, his tires blistering the road to the exit. It’s summer. The wrecked Mustang, tires blown, sinks into grass rubbery with snakes. A crystal bottle lolls under the front seat. Maybe it’s worth something. It’s fall. Trees have faded to an ambiguous yellow, and the color confuses those of us who have already given up. It’s winter. The car, rusted through. Grass, shagged with ice. There’s a drop of Scotch in the decanter so we’ll drink that first, before we feed the piano to the flames.


He reaches into the closet. Pulls out the pink silk dress. Takes her in the crook of his arm. Unfastens her robe. Pushes the fabric from her shoulders. Watches it fall to her feet. Sighs. Tugs her onto his lap. Eases her into the dress. Slides it over her lingerie. Zips it up. Notices his tie has come undone. Asks her to knot it for him. Thanks her. Brings her the leg braces to her. Fastens them. Hands her the forearm crutches. Says “you look beautiful tonight,” holding her hand against his chest. Briefly mistakes her fingers for his own.

2 thoughts on “Poetry from Cheryl Snell

  1. Cheryl,

    I enjoyed reading your poems! I look forward to reading more of your work.



    • Thanks so much for reading them and taking the time to comment!

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