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Heather M. Browne

Little Boxes


I make my own box

With thick black lines

Straight and sharp


This box that will never change


I’m no longer allowed to say I am married 

By law

Refusing to own single

By love


That feels close

I make my own 


To contain myself

Within these fours lines 

It’s quite simple really


I use a Sharpie

In black ink

Which really isn’t a color

But the absorption of all the rest

And total absence 

Of light

I do not mark an x nor a check

I fill in that damn box completely

So there can be no doubt

I am and will always be 


A Scent of Gardenia


Gardenias in her braid scented

Their first spring date and night,

As she walked shyly 

Toward him smiling. 


Auburn curls danced 

Round her head. 

Soft creamy petals


To be plucked.


She carefully freed one, 

Letting it dangle. 

And kissing its gentle ivory lips, tucked

It tenderly, into his rugged hand, waiting

‘Tween calluses, raised. 

The ridges of mountains, 


And giggled, daintily,

A babbling brook.


Gardenias in her summer bouquet scented

Their wedding day, sweet.

Dropping them carefully down the candled aisle,

Her heels clicking,

I do.

She took his side, his hand,

His name.


Gardenias and babies in their yard grew.

Autumn is the time for plenty.

Season to season,

Tea parties and proms.

Ironed and pressed for safe-keeping.


Gardenias in their lives withered.

Arthritis and heart attacks.

Her walker legs scraping,

Slowly down the wintry aisle,

Dropping petals

Into his hand once more.

To rest

And scent 

Him home.

Wedding Sheets Ring


She slips silently between cold cotton sheets

Yellowed forms highlighting permanent space 

She gets lost in between 


Sliding slowly into her soundless bed

Guilt scratching her, already

Cooling thighs

Mediocre thread count 

There are no moans here

Just itch

She tries not to think

To enter undisturbed

So unlike earlier tonight

Returning, to saggy breath, stolen air

These cold yellowed sheets, stained with wait, with forgotten want

A wedding gift, broken in that first night

Elastic stretch grabbed and pulled in hungry rustlings


Now all she needs is flat

Heather M. Browne is a faith-based psychotherapist and recently emerged poet, published in the Orange Room, Boston Literary Review, Page & Spine, Eunoia Review, Poetry Quarterly, The Poetry Bus, Red Fez, The Muse, An International Journal of Poetry, Deep Water Literary Journal, Electric Windmill, Maelstrom, mad swirl, and Dual Coast.  Her first chapbook, We Look for Magic and Feed the Hungry has just been published by MCI. She just won the Nantucket Poetry Competition and will be featured on their website. She has been married 20 years to her love, has 2 amazing teens, and can be found frolicking in the waves.  Follow her:

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