Elegy For a Lost Notebook

          for Amylia

When you found me
I had been wandering
around in my torn dress
with twenty dollars
wadded up in my fist.

you said, Is it the fear that makes you love?

and I was mute–
sixteen on an Atlantic beach
with pills in my throat
and a notebook in the sand

and a boy took my poems away
to have them read at Georgetown
by a professor his mother knew.

he said I want you to be alive…

So I walked, looking for God’s voice in the gales

and the music played
but the stars stayed in their corners
and would not pick a partner.

Plath said everything is raw material–

the whole world tilted in worship
to the vernal equinox.

I knew I would recognize my voice when I heard it again.


let the doves fly over me!

I just want one last kiss before I go back
to the Abbey and confess my sins
to the stone wall that will absorb my tears
as my cheek lay against its coldness.

But the Abbey cemetery can’t tell me a new story
even with the wind carrying echoes across Long Lake.




* * * * *

Heather Ann Schmidt is an adjunct professor at Oakland Community College in Michigan. She edits tinfoildresses poetry journal. Her poems can be found in various online and print journals. Her books include Channeling Isadora Duncan (Gold Wake Press), The Owl & the Muse: Collected Tanka (recycled karma press), The Bat’s Love Song: American Haiku (Crisis Chronicles Press), Njaa (recycled karma press) and a full collection of poems forthcoming from Village Green Press.  She received her MFA from National University.

Her Transient Angels and Red Hibiscus are coming soon from Crisis Chronicles Press.