Ellen’s unlike her sisters.
Hannah and Susan
They are merely appetites
that need to be fed,
that get them into bad situations,
from which they somehow extract themselves
with honesty and tears.
Ellen likes to sit before the mirror,
feeding little scraps of anger to her pouting moth,
with a glare, doing her utmost to break the connection
between pride and fall –
I’m beautiful, she tells herself –
why not enjoy it.
are ultimately forgiving
of the ones who hurt them,
but Ellen forgives no one,
wants them all near but not close,
sweating heat and aching for
what they don’t have.
Ellen’s carved out
a glowering trench in her heart
from where she can look out
upon the battlefield,
content in her superior forces.
Her true feelings arc a secret
even to herself.
So how she acts becomes habit
and ultimately total ignorance –
of course, she mistakes it for bliss.
All three are martyrs
to their own happiness.
But Hannah and Susan
recognize stones when they hit them.
Ellen thinks they’re roses.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.