beaded trout

When It Happened

Cassandra Dallett

Baby Stephie
stood off to the side,
watched her family
wrap up her sister Candy
no stop drop and roll
she had flamed through the house
a comet
of burned flesh.

The ambulance is coming
the flames put out
But no one comes to hold Stephie
to tell her it's going to be all right.

Those couple weeks Candy lies dying
freezing under the fan's cool air
twety-five hand drawn Get Well cards
fluttering the hospital room's walls
o one took her to say goodbye
to her big sister burnt
earless and shivering.

Each one blaming themselves
each one sinking into their cold Boston
stoic self- destruction bottled or mainlined
or stretched thin like aunt Sandy
with four step sons and a shell shocked husband
no one not Grandma who drank her self dead
vomiting blood and vodka
Not Uncle Riki or Mom
strung out and stoned
none of them noticed
they lost two sisters that night
the youngest Stephie
simply forgotten.

Cassandra Dallett

contents of issue 6

Long Distance
Jennifer Roush

Easy . . . Girl . . . .
Anne Apfel

When It Happened
Cassandra Dallett

There Must Be Songs For This
Qwo_Li Driskill

Cassandra Dallett Biography

Cassandra writes of a counter culture childhood in Vermont and her ongoing adolescence in San Francisco Bay Area. She has been published widely online and in print.

Permission to publish poems in this one context was granted by the authors, who unless otherwise specified, hold copyright on these works.