Caroline Furr



Fran Markover

It is real and when you enter it, you will find Barbara . . .

—scrawled on page one of a handmade book found in Kings Cemetery

To search for Barbara, enter under the wrought iron sign

past offerings of phlox and tiger lilies. Enlist the honey bees

who remember each flower’s skirt. Begin at the boy’s plot

where the notebook was discovered. Tiptoe beyond rings

of toadstools where soldiers and families repose. Veteran

ghosts too weary for another mission. Veering right toward

the latest inhabitants won’t help. Let them adjust to their

darkened neverlands. Hurry past the heart of the cemetery

where town elders debate their better angels. Follow deer

white as snow or the hand-drawn maps, x’s to mark spots

erased by April showers. Raise both hands like divining rods.

Place them on your chest, thrums leading to higher ground,

hills sloping with trillium and baby’s breath where pauper

children rest in unmarked graves. Let them sleep although

once upon a time the farm boys delighted in treasure hunts.

If the sun loses gold, if whistling fails, heed the whisperings

from Hollybrook Creek. Under the moon, worry stones pink

into polished stars while finger-painted words of the story-

book that never dies will emblazon paths to Barbara.

Ever after           Sister             Home

Fran Markover: I live in Ithaca, New York, where I work as a psychotherapist. My poetry has been published in journals including Rattle, Calyx, Karamu, Runes, Spillway, Earth's Daughters, and Able Muse. Recent honors include a poetry residency at the Constance Saltonstall Foundation and a Pushcart Prize nomination. My chapbook, History's Trail, was published by Finishing Line Press.

Caroline Furr: Life in Oklahoma, Texas, Los Angeles (MA in sculpture, work in museums and galleries), Barcelona, Philadelphia. Ongoing exhibition history since 1974 in painting and sculpture. Freelance design for home furnishings, interior design on the East Coast. And writing.