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Made of Glass

By Anna Madden in Issue Twelve, December 2023

the air smells of brine and night spirits
of bare feet sinking into the orchard’s dark earth
where pink ladies dream standing upright
their old branches like my withered arms
and the sea of green I can’t see in the failing light
dark waves of bluegrass and mason jars filled with fireflies

this is the scented memory of a sealed off childhood
a soda-lime bottle poured out to the last teardrop

white petals brush against time-gnarled scars
the apple trees sigh and creak and shiver
their wood hearts dreaming of being carved into ships
and sailing into the dusky emerald

the world shatters a child as easily as colored glass
and only what doesn’t break remains

the days have grown shorter, the nights longer
as the night spirits descend all around me
some pretend to be pale leaves that sway in the wind
others stare back while wearing faces I know
like so many dew drops trapped in a spider's web
and one is a girl I once was, shedding bark-lined skin

she touches my hand before wading into that sea of green
the currents promising a shore without yesterdays

© 2023 Anna Madden

Anna Madden

Anna Madden is a writer and Acquisitions Editor for Dark Matter Magazine and Dark Matter INK. Her fiction has appeared in Apex Magazine, Orion’s Belt, PseudoPod, and elsewhere. In free time, she makes birch forests out of stained glass. Follow her on Twitter/X @anna_madden_ or visit her website at annamadden.com.

Fiction by Anna Madden
  • Daughter of the Great Whales
  • Poetry by Anna Madden
  • Made of Glass