Dec 13

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Upstairs Room by Lida Broadhurst

When the moon casts a candle glow,
once a year the music begins.
upstairs in the room that is always
locked, its key hidden
in Aunt Tilda’s drawer.

I never reveal how it came to me
without searching. Each year
I enter, and at my step
the room awakens, a flower
blossoming from dust.

Music arouses the sleepers
with a roar from the horns that
breathes life through the strings of a harp.
Dancing begins with a ripple,
gradually swells to a tide,
rushing shoreward, then breaking;
white hands held high seem like foam.

The gowns sway gently as petals,
held stiffly as stems in male hands.

A young girl in white without diamonds,
her hair falling finely as feathers,
dances in time to the beating of wings.

Another draped in black satin,
lace veining each seam, patterns
with slower step. Age with vigorous
needle has traced a filigree on her skin.

Round they go, unaware of my presence
as I am unaware of their urges, their
unspoken yearnings.

Seated in a corner, close to the music
and memories, the pearls and parquet
of the floor, the wines with depths
of dark jewels, I long to whirl with them,

But fearful of our hands meeting
in a useless swirl of dust,
I close the door, go downstairs
to wonder when I will be welcomed.

From the visions of cats, vampires, insane trees, and family antics, Lida Broadhurst shapes her prose and poetry. When it is too hot, too cold, or too rainy in Oakland, CA, her visions are weirder than usual.

Her work has appeared in Mythic Delirium, Paper Crow, GUD, and many other publications. One poem was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award.

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  1. Electric Velocipede 25 » Electric Velocipede

    […] Lament” by Michael Constantine McConnell 12/13 → “Musici” by Derek Zumsteg (novelette) → “Upstairs Room” by Lida Broadhurst (poem) 12/17 → “North” by Kristy L. Truax-Nichols (short story) → “Menace” by J. R. Salling […]

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