Crossing the Lawn With the Compost Bucket

by Merrill Oliver Douglas

I might be a woman on a decorative plate:
a thumb-sized figure drawn in blue
on white porcelain, I daydream
my way over damp grass, the morning
a cool hand calming a brow.
The plate stands on a cupboard shelf
in the Antique Court of Shoppes, where
years from now, on a tour of Virginia,
I’ll wander the aisles without purpose,
fingering Depression glass, trying on
fascinators, setting them back.
When I round a corner and spot
this dish, I’ll halt mid-step and open
my mouth in a perplexed “O” —
as if I’d just found myself
walking behind myself, one impossibly
sunstruck morning in April
in my last life, or maybe the life before that.


Merrill Oliver Douglas has poems published or forthcoming in Baltimore Review, Barrow Street, Tar River Poetry, Stone Canoe, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Cimarron Review and the Comstock Review, among others. She lives near Binghamton, New York, where she runs a freelance writing business.