Two Poems

Ruth Mark

The Day of the Flat Pack

Wood flakes scatter like dandruff
on the carpet while she forces
a screw home, and another;
building the frame, watching
as the hull takes shape,
becomes ‘something’, transforms
after a few hours, sweat
muscles screaming, into
something of use, something
recognizable. Of course,
it doesn’t just stop there—
there are bulbs to plant,
both inside and outside
ones with roots, tubers, others
covered with glass wasp-traps.
Everything is filthy, dusty, while
blood, sweat, frustration and
finally resignation fills the air.
Her heart closes once more, she is
so frustrated she can feel
the blood in her arms
her fingers tingle, heart
pounds, teeth begin to grind
and there is nowhere to escape to,
to disappear, to calm down.
Just another day at the
mother-in-law’s, when enough
is never enough, when she bleeds us
dry emotionally at every turn
works us like donkeys, uses
her tongue for a whip.


Homage to Emily

How young you were to talk of death
as to-be-expected among
the wild moorlands surrounding
the Heights. Fever, a common cold,
getting your feet wet during a
spring-time ramble, could all
lay you low for weeks, months,
seasons melting one-into-the-other, the bed
the ship and anchor
in this world and the next.
Frank acceptance of the forlorn ground
earth piled in mounds, love unhindered
by the Reaper, spirits roaming freely.
Perhaps that is why death seemed
like a passage to you, a way to touch
paradise that could not be sampled
on Earth, the grave a home-coming for your
lonely spirit, as you became Catherine
fiction became fact, seclusion gave
way to unbridled freedom
as wild and free as the knotty heath.



Ruth Mark is a licensed psychologist, poet and editor. Her work has been published in diverse print and web venues including Riviera Reporter, Dakota House Journal, Poems Niederngasse, Midnight Minds, Snakeskin, etc. E-mail: balihai25[at]

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