purgatory matters

even though I'm here
the party started without me
in the middle of the room I sit
my head unattached to everyone

two women to remind me
who I used to be
sisters, young and old
they take the same bus
to and from themselves

I am five years old now
in this big family
with multitudes of knowledge
and no one to talk to

are you alone with me too
in corners of round rooms
clinging, climbing, winding
I don’t know where we're headed
where did we come from

I will tell you this though
just a tad   is a little bit
a speck   is almost nothing
wee     is sweet lad
a boy who burns no ants

lassie is a dog
who died long ago
she spoke to me once
through my grandmothers veins
messages from the insane

phantoms around every corner she said
they laugh at me
in the round room
minds of math, geometric mazes
and unpaid bills

yet the roots of us are long
the wind does breathe secrets
to quiet battered women
who bake cakes

I found a chisel she hid for me
in the thick rich frosting
and slowly but surely
day by day, bit by bit
I saw the metal bars

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