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Sky-blue with orange swirls, Lynn Finger

Zimmer says the marbles talk to her.

She does her schoolwork at her neighbor’s, Mrs. Bead,

the retired piano teacher. Zimmer’s parents

died while on quarantine out of the country. When you die out

of the country, your soul can

go traveling and needs a place to light.

Zimmer alone knows this.

Zimmer plays with her marbles on her bed

and talks to them.

Mrs. Bead thinks she hears laughing,

pokes her head into Zimmer’s room.

Zimmer on the bedspread,

her marbles around her, especially two large

sky-blue ones with

orange swirls. She holds these tenderly,

like they are her favorites.

Zimmer, who’re you talking to?

No one. Mostly marbles.

Zimmer alone knows about marbles.

The next day, again Mrs. Bead

hears Zimmer talking in her room.

Zimmer, if you ever want to talk about your parents--

but Zimmer grabs up her marbles.

They’re not dead! she says. They’re here with me.

She holds up the two large marbles, sky-blue with orange swirls.

Zimmer says, My parents. They are here, just inanimate.

Zimmer focuses on the marbles.

Of course I’ll come, she says to them.

And Zimmer is gone.

On the bedspread, remain two large beloved marbles,

and a smaller one just like them, sky-blue with orange swirls.

Mrs. Bead is impressed with Zimmer’s powers,

and is possibly a bit of a witch herself, not put off

by the inexplicable.

Later, if anyone comes to visit her, which they do,

they would notice

an antique bowl of cut-glass crystal

on her oak table,

with three beautiful marbles inside.

Mrs. Bead talks to them every night at supper.


Lynn Finger’s writings have appeared in 8Poems, Perhappened, Twin Pies, Book of Matches, Drunk Monkeys and is forthcoming in Wrongdoing Magazine. Lynn is an editor at Harpy Hybrid Review and works with a group that mentors writers in prison. Follow Lynn on Twitter @sweetfirefly2.

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