Curtains blowing in the wind / Good Bones

by Linda Casebeer

Photo by Lahti213 via Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons: Some rights reserved.

Curtains blowing in the wind

You and I love have written fiction
together it can be an intimate act
where we said writing in and out
of each other elicited the yin yang
of voices the he said she said
but in the year of the unreliable
narrator the question is who
is telling the truth if there is truth
haven’t we known all along writers
are unreliable narrators and not all
skeletons are the ones in the closet
like the trendy gone girl
gone missing the story first told
by the adulterous husband
from his point of view also
a suspect but absent a body
did she leave on her own
or is the girlwife framing him
with he said she said is either one
telling the truth if there is a truth
or what about the next story
also a girl witnessing a murder
from the window of a train begging
the question when breath ceases
does the story matter if it is not
murder is there a story to be untold
was the bedroom window
left open that night or locked
who tossed the single white rose
into the river was it a signature
or the return of magic realism
the return of alternate universes


Good Bones

Molded of burned lime clay sand gravel
and water mixed into common concrete
a weatherstained slightly cracked angel
gazed up through weeping cherry boughs
overgrown and touching the ground
twenty years after we planted it in honor
of spring or love or something and after we
recorded the garden’s history in disappearing
ink when we wanted to trade the steepness
of Red Mountain for what was level
we found ourselves most attached
to the places where we had removed lawn
to make gardens and of it all the realtor
said the house with gardens instead of lawn
would not sell quickly

And yet two months after the sign went up
we sold the house by an English grocer
in 1910 the house built over red boulders
too heavy to move was sold to a single woman
an attorney who had pulled up to the front
curb in her dark blue Mercedes convertible
drawn to the house for its foursquare
brick stature good bones as they say
and the old wood inside once painted
over with flat black before being restored
she loved the house but the deal was not
without the arguments of her profession
she marked up the sales contract
fought over glasses in the kitchen cabinet
along with everything else she could find

Though the angel veiled by cherry boughs
had escaped her notice she also took
possession of it the day of closing
when we left our untidy perennial gardens
originally planted with a design in mind
but grown unto themselves unexpectedly
and we left the angel though the truth is
we had forgotten the barely visible
since the sale we go back to drive past
the house on Red Mountain and find
the angel has been moved into the sun
on the other side of the red brick
walkway amidst the ever intruding
rudbeckia by the new owner who lives
in the four bedroom house alone



Linda Casebeer lives in Birmingham, Alabama and works as a medical education researcher. She has published one collection of poems, The Last Eclipsed Moon, with Cherry Grove Collections, as well as poems in journals such as Pinyon, Earth’s Daughters, and Slant.


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