The Coffin

by Adele DeWitt

a white dress worn only once
lies at rest in a metal box
under the bureau

perfectly preserved
an ideal unmet
a dream disappointed

was there an evil charm in the threads
a potion in the lining
duping the wearer into a grievous mistake

or was it simply hope
innocent hope
that drove the denial of question marks
and red flags

as soon as the buttons were fastened
the jailing was complete
the veil dropped a blinding curtain
there would be no escape

the widow’s wedding ring
worn down to almost nothing
was still on her hand
when she died

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