You hang the candy cane on the lamp. Lick what melts. Now you’ve ruined the bulb, poisoned your room with burnt sugar smoke. You’ve blamed your brother for dumping all the easy-bake cake mix in cocoa heaps on the floor, for fingers squeezed between hinges on your wooden door, and for stolen cherry bombs under the bed. Three out of four fit a pattern. Years later you think of your dollhouse plates that went missing, don’t remember him smashing the Shaker dining table, or if the rugs were painted on the floor. You only recall having the house, the smell of splintered balsam and glue, that it was tornadoed somehow, blown-away.
Kierstin Bridger is a Colorado writer and a winner of the Mark Fischer Poetry Prize, The ACC Studio Award, and was short-listed for the Manchester Poetry Prize. Her book Demimonde is just now out from Lithic Press. She is editor of Ridgway Alley Poems, co-director of the Open Bard Poetry Series and contributing writer for Telluride Inside Out. Her work can be found in Red Paint Hill, Fugue, Thrush Poetry Journal, Mason’s Road and elsewhere. She received her MFA degree at Pacific University.