Kathleen Vibbert



The father watched her through every

hall and door. It was as if birds

had come down to perch and left

droppings to be worn on her ears,

those dangling shit-hooks that made

the lobes itch.

It was like poking

someone with a stick so they would perform:

Play the piano, do the dishes, talk to me.

Her body was pierced by scents

that others never took on themselves.

The smell of smoke, of wood;

she wanted to wad the father into a ball,

slide him into a glass-maker’s furnace,

take hold of his throat, now a vase,

stuff it with violets, and watch him drown

in half-water cuttings.


Kathleen Vibbert is retired and lives in Indianapolis.  Her previous credits include Muscadine Lines: A Southern Anthology (Cold Tree Press,2006) , White Chimney, The Dallas Morning News, Autumn Sky Poetry and Facets: A Literary Magazine.