Waiting for Midnight

My grandson says Ouma, you’re just like Cinderella
as I feed carrots and kale to five rabbits in the backyard
Seeds to the squirrels and twenty-some species of birds
Walnuts and dry cat food for the crows
I believe he expects me to entice them all
into my art studio to design a gown for the evening

We don’t talk anymore about the mouse my cat caught
when he learned life isn’t always a fairy tale
He knows by now I don’t believe in cages
and that there should be only one zoo in every country
What he doesn’t know is how insignificant
that glass slipper is

How searching for it can rust the years from their hinges
Open doors into rooms that breathe Marlboro
smoke, whiskey and musk oil
Ghost of the male deer donor hanging from a rafter
Men with oiled skin that lusters like a yellow canary diamond
who smell the scent of longing and hunt it down

Catch and release until they’re bored with the wounds
and slam the door in your face
Yet you open another before scabs form
Until finally you’re bled dry and forced to heal
You learn to meditate in your backyard
To watch a banana blossom unfold

I tell none of this to my grandson
He’ll have to discover for himself
the difference between authentic and synthetic
How the latter is only snake oil
That a fence around a place isn’t always a cage
but protection from the other side
And that even a castle has a wall or moat

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About the Author

Ellaraine Lockie is widely published and awarded as a poet, nonfiction book author and essayist. Her fourteenth chapbook, Sex and Other Slapsticks, was recently released from Presa Press. Earlier collections have won Poetry Forum’s Chapbook Contest Prize, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival Chapbook Competition, Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest, Best Individual Poetry Collection Award from Purple Patch magazine in England, and The Aurorean’s Chapbook Choice Award. She also teaches writing workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, LILIPOH.

Ellaraine Lockie
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