secret shack


hidden behind a thicket of boughs
alive with snarled vines
was a pink shack with a lopsided door-
a leaning sentry guarding rotted wood floors 
and ripped curtains of tangled lace 
and a broken clock’s face where the hands 
had stopped at half past four

snapping open a blade
I crudely carved my name above the door

then distracted by a mezuzah tilted on the frame
the blade slipped on the tail of the letter y
slashing through history and time
splicing through the door screen
slicing through my lifeline-
a bloodied omen
a ticking time bomb
scarring my palm

I had thought claiming doors
would be easy and would make me brave
I had no idea my lifeline could be altered with a blade

I had thought I was the only Jew on this island-
apparently others had found this door too

-----

Loretta Oleck is a poet and psychotherapist. Her poetry has been published in reviews/journals including The Westchester Review, Feminist Studies, The Mom Egg, Laughing Earth, Poetica Magazine, Still Point Arts Quarterly, Marco Polo Arts Magazine, among numerous others. More recently her work has been read at The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, as well as at other venues in and around New York. She holds a Masters degree in Creative Writing from New York University.

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