Making Safe to Tell

By on Aug 16, 2015 in Poetry

Steamship with ghostly figure

The only way I know —|
I ask him if his faith
is beside him.
For I am about

to tell him news
precious to me, her name
unspoken for so long.

like the skull of a sparrow, grapes. Mother’s cut
glass decanter crossing the Atlantic Ocean
in a marked box. Spider web, tissue paper
and butterfly wing, a rose in the moment before

its petals fall all at once. Like a camel’s back,
bridge over water, tibia of horses.
Like painting in sand, a thin blue shell,
like peace and ego, the underbelly of things.

he gentles himself
to listen,
folding his rough-skinned hands.


Vicki Mandell-King has been writing poetry for what seems most of her life and, until a few years ago, practiced criminal law as a federal public defender for thirty years. Her poetry has been published in such literary journals as Ares, Calyx, Illya’s Honey, Main Street Rag, Pearl, Plainsongs, Slant, Sow's Ear and Zillah. She is currently working on a chapbook and a full-length book of poetry. She and her husband live in an old remodeled Victorian in the Rockies foothills, and have a wonderful grown son.