The poem came first:
Montage: The Good Housekeeping Fairy
She will be flitting nowhere, this fairy;
I found her lying dead on my desk,
crushed by a tower of books that toppled.
For her, my little stack of knowledge
was a dangerous thing, indeed.
I softened her crumpled wings with my breath,
smoothing them flat between my palms,
afraid of tearing them with my fingers.
I pickled her in formaldehyde,
worried that a simple brine solution
might make her silken skin bumpy,
or green as a gherkin. She is pinned
like a butterfly in a box,
a fairy under glass, safe from mice
and the tiptoeing feet of silverfish.
Surrounded by symbols
of a homemaker’s life, she stands
entombed in a shadowbox down the hall,
a sentinel in death
over our mutual dream of order.
I salute her as I pass from book
to vacuum to iron to watering can.
A bushel of fairies
could not bring order to this place.
I am overwhelmed, not likely
to find more aid from that quarter:
unlucky woman, destroyer of fairies.
© 1999, [Lynn]
The collage came later. Note the profusion of magazines, the incoming packages from my first throes of online shopping; the gardening tools that mocked my black thumb; the sewing paraphernalia strewn about; the neglected mop, bucket and broom.
I made two dozen or more of these fairies when that movie came out in the late 90’s about the two little girls in England who claimed to have seen real fairies. We put my fairies in the candy displays at the movie theatre where I was working. When the movie moved on to the discount houses, I got to bring my fairies home. This one got X’s for eyes and a T-pin through her torso.
No real fairies were harmed in the making of this collage…
- Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!