Lisa J. Cihlar


On the first day of the tenth month they took her voice. There was a clock in every room of the mansion and not a single one showed the correct time. Still, a bell rang for meals so nothing was lost. The food was good. There was always a fresh-sliced tomato and cheese. The meat was already cut into bite-sized pieces. They were not very trusting when it came to knives. She considered the damage she could do with a fork, but in the end her eyes were too important. Every animal she saw in the meadow or at the edge of the forest was damaged in some way: a dragging limb, twisted horns, two heads. She used to call to them, but that was no longer possible. Now she carried a small three-legged stool everywhere she went. When she sat on it, she pulled handfuls of birdseed and cracked corn from her pockets and spread them in a circle around her. Some were lost in the grass and sprouted overnight. There were sunflowers everywhere she went. Most, though, were eaten by the pheasants and quail and wild turkeys, all of them silent no matter the time.  


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“Damage” (c) 2012 by Lisa J. Cihlar, all rights reserved.  Used by permission. This poem appears in her chapbook This Is How She Fails, published May 8th 2012 by Crisis Chronicles Press.


This is How She Fails (CC#23) — cover art by Lisa Marie Peaslee


This Is How She Fails by Lisa J. Cihlar is a cycle of more than two dozen prose poems comprising 26 pages and featuring a white and dual blue cardstock cover.  It is available for  $7 US from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3344 W,. 105th Street #4, Cleveland, Ohio 44111.