Muse Daughter by Virginia M. Mohlere

My muse’s child
started kindergarten this year:
new dress and lunchbox,
blonde like her half-sibs,
blonde like my roots;
blue-eyed, long-fingered
and should’ve been mine.

Muse daughter,
I dream you alive
every Mother’s Day
and trace the scar you gave me,
birth/death-day present,
trace the dead patch
where I cannot feel
your father’s kisses.
(“You might regain feeling,”
Dr. Morgan said. “But
don’t hope for it.”)


You were lost in all the red’”
red tide
washing us out to sea’”
but showed up later:
a small ghost swaddled by ghosts,
dandled by spirit guides;
every instant out of reach.
Years pass and you do not leave me.
You grow inside
as you grew inside’”
and nothing else can kill you now.




Virginia M. Mohlere lives in southeast Texas with a surfer muse, a bean-eating cat, occasional Wicked Stepchildren, and badly organized piles of paper. The ink staining her fingers is plummy red. Neither the snakes nor the lizards in her yard are bothersome, but she has a mortal dread of tree roaches. Her work has been seen in Cabinet des Fées, Fickle Muses, Mythic Delirium, Goblin Fruit, and MungBeing.


Image: Cherry Ripe, Sir John Everett Millais (1829-96)