Dour Lady

by Sarah Elizabeth Colona

Mother’s heart — that capricious beast that stalked our childhoods — diminished and finally expired in the rusted crypt of her cold breast. Her children grown and out of the state — it was Aunt Cora, Mother’s youngest sister, who found the body, robed in geranium pink silk, slumped over its mahogany vanity table. There, chapel candles flickered down to their wicks. The mirror, rimmed with dried, palm crosses and prayer cards, cradled Mother’s reflection in amniotic light. A nest of velvet jeweler’s boxes cushioned Mother’s withered cheek. What lovelies had been taken out for one last caress?


Sarah Elizabeth Colona lives and teaches in her home state of New Jersey. She earned her MFA from George Mason University, where she served as poetry editor for So to Speak. Her poems have appeared in Measure, Six Little Things, The Chimaera, and several other journals, including Cabinet des Fées: Scheherezade’s Bequest. New work is forthcoming in Jabberwocky and The Ampersand Review.