Featured Poet : Kathleen Fagley, Keene
Kathleen Fagley is a recent graduate of the New England College M.F.A. program and her poetry has been published in Slipstream, Comstock Review, Poet’s Touchstone and Concrete Wolf. Her manuscript, Fragile X, was a semi-finalist in the Zone 3 First Book Contest. It documents a journey parenting a multi-handicapped child. A slice of this experience also appeared in a non-fiction article in Exceptional Parent, “Profound Truths.”
She has taught adult education classes and workshops for poets and high school students. Her current job working at a hospital switchboard gives her material for a future project. Notes are accumulating in her “Hospital” file. Her interest lies in exploring those interstices between “here and there,” overwrites, miscues, misreads and other gestures toward the palimpsest.
Of her poem below, Kathleen writes: “When I Turned the Linens,” was one of those poems written spontaneously in a class following the principles of “Writing from the Heart,” from a prompt: color photographs of butterflies and a bed. I took off with that image and ‘voila’— the poem in its entirely came to me. When people ask what the poem means, I don’t know how to answer. The process was a mystery and I hope part of that remains for the reader.
When I Turned the Linens
A flutter of butterflies
flew out the window,
orange and black-winged,
the single blue and grey
They had been in the bed all night
jewels resting in the dark warmth
between my thighs,
in my hair, curled
around my toe.
And then the morning light,
a few threads at a time through
filter of silky drapes
touched my forehead like grace,
lightening the pillow, the comforter
we threw off hours before.
I saw the blue brighten,
its slow creep through sheets and skin.
Huddled wings of butterflies
began their rustle,
brush of fur against mine,
like an air mail envelope
being opened slowly.
The message like mist,
then the falling steady rain
then its travel elsewhere.
this poem first appeared in the Comstock Review