Cloud — Caroline Furr
WELCOME TO FAIRYLAND
— 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