Poem by Sarah Dickenson Snyder

Princess Phone

It sat in the upstairs hallway,
its long cord letting me take the handset
into my room to curl in a curve

on the floor or on a twin bed, settling in
with Cindy to discuss kissing Paul
in the back of a bus.

When the cord would tangle with knots,
I’d lean against the bookshelf of encyclopedias–
cream and green spines lined and shiny,

drop the handset over the railing,
let it dangle and spin to right itself.
It took a while to undo what I had done,

time to lift a thick World Book, open
to the Human Body Systems
of many transparencies–

the roped muscle page,
the blue and red veined figure,
and a sheet of organs–

the bulbous heart,
all valves and ventricles,
an aorta at its crown,

nothing like the ones in the margins
of my notebooks
or the wild one inside.

SARAH DICKENSON SNYDER has two poetry collections, The Human Contract (Aldrich Press) and Notes from a Nomad (Finishing Line Press). Recently, poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Comstock Review, Damfino Press, The Main Street Rag, RHINO, Chautauqua Literary Magazine, Piedmont Journal, Sunlight Press, Stirring: a Literary Journal, and Whale Road Review. She was a 30/30 Poet for Tupelo Press and a part of Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. One poem was selected by Mass Poetry Festival to be stenciled on the sidewalk in Salem, MA, for the annual festival, April 2017.