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Lois Marie Harrod's 16th and most recent collection Nightmares of the Minor Poet appeared in June 2016 from Five Oaks; her chapbook And She Took the Heart appeared in January 2016, and Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis (Cherry Grove Press) and the chapbook How Marlene Mae Longs for Truth (Dancing Girl Press) appeared in 2013. A Dodge poet, she is published in literary journals and online ezines from American Poetry Review to Zone 3. She teaches at the Evergreen Forum in Princeton and at The College of New Jersey. Links to her online work at www.loismarieharrod.org.
When I See Myself as Her Again
By Lois Harrod

She is wearing a white dress
with puffy blue rainclouds
and sequined raindrops.
She has her hair cut pixie
and her legs have lengthened
though her hands hang at her sides,
wishing, I think, to tug
at her Peter Pan collar.
I think of my mother,
the way her hands hung
when she was forced to pose.
So it’s Sunday again,
the day I am supposed
to feel Jesus the way
my sister does, her face my face
singing Such as I Am
beside me, the white blouse
with its Peter Pan collar,
the blue plaid skirt
with its fluffy pleats,
the wide black cinch belt.
I remember her face again
in Rome when I stand 
before St. Theresa in Ecstasy, 
and wonder why another’s self feels
things my self can’t.

Later she appears
in a hot pink halter dress,
her signature smile
paired with her sky-high
Jimmy Choo peep-toes.
I didn’t know you at first,
I say as if I catch herself
in my mirror.
Give Me a Break
By Lois Harrod

At first as dawn slits,
Later, as storm.

Lightning, those cadenzas
between the sheets.

I couldn’t shear off

Like a dolphin
splitting the water, desire.

My plain broken
by your complicated hills.

Fields, meadows,

Love, love
and then you broke my serve.

When I talked, 
you interrupted.

Just once 
to finish your sentence.

Oh, the sentence,
not unlike a posted ban.

You have volume three
from the set of encyclopedia.

You broke faith
like daily bread.

sliced my shillings like pies,
broke you off pieces.

The branch from the wind-blown oak,
charred to warm your heart.

The femur cracked
running your way.

Our story broke in the evening news,
how I was found, tied and gagged.

Records, shattered.
CD, gummed.

Connection, gone.
What is there to fix?
Danger Keep Off Submerged Objects
By Lois Harrod

Beach Sign, Sea Isle, NJ​   

Sign without punctuation: 
without hesitant colon
comma coughing caveat
I ask the gulls how 
the miller’s daughter can spin
flaw into gold. Everything’s hidden,
suggests the ring-billed beak
standing his house
on sand.

But there’s a man 
skimming the shore with a straw detector,
looking for danger.
Think the queer motions 
of a faith healer
floating his hands over a body,
or a monarch curing scrofula,
the royal touch–
Doesn’t seems to be
finding much–

We all hide something
but what did the king expect
when he took 
the miller’s chaff to bed.
Her face was her fortune
and that apparent.

Meanwhile the water shimmies
over itself, 
sinking what
lies beneath, 
the gold crucifix
some lost swimmer lost
with his faith.

Well, says my therapist friend,
the danger comes 
when you start talking.
Repression keeps us going,
we stand on the rocks
we cannot bear.

The miller’s daughter
it is said
did not mention Rumplestiltskin
after she said his name,
developed carpal tunnel syndrome
in his stead.
No more spinning for the queen.
Disease too
riddles our skins.
That kind of danger deep beneath.