Spring 2018, Volume 24

Poetry by Jane Ellen Glasser

Spring Cleaning

The devils go first.
From corners, inside closets,
under my bed, inside my dreams
their ashes, like ghosts
of themselves, I sweep clean.

Next I attack drawers, shelves,
fouled linens, malodorous bins;
from the refrigerator throw out
hirsute pears, moldy cheese,
misstep’s sour grapes;
send to the washroom the dirty
laundry of my brain.

Some demons beg to stay,
petition for permanence
in the storerooms of my heart
on the grounds of years of loyalty.

Rejected, they grow beards,
forked tails, talons, horns.
A pernicious bunch, to heckle me
they toss stink bombs in the toilet
of my hopes and fears.

Furiously, I dust, mop,
bleach, polish, trash meal
after meal for the hungry mouths
of garbage trucks.

When I’m finally purged,
lemon-scented and emptied out,
I am overcome by sadness.

Like footprints sucked from a rug,
a profound loneliness
haunts the immaculate
rooms of my house.




BIO: Jane Ellen Glasser’s poetry has appeared in journals such as Hudson Review, The Southern Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Georgia Review. In the past she reviewed poetry books for the Virginian-Pilot, edited poetry for the Ghent Quarterly and Lady Jane’s Miscellany, and co-founded the nonprofit arts organization and journal New Virginia Review. She won the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry 2005 for Light Persists and The Long Life won the Poetica Publishing Company Chapbook Contest in 2011. Her seventh poetry collection, In the Shadow of Paradise, appeared from FutureCycle Press in 2017. Her work may be previewed on her website: www.janeellenglasser.com.