I kept thinking I was Jane Eyre’s daughter.
I suspected my mother really wanted a son.
Fascinated with attics I foraged through chests
with breakable locks filled with baptism gowns,
sniffed among moth-balls for matchboxes
from exotic pool halls, hints of adoption papers.
I kept thinking I was Jane Eyre’s daughter, trying
to find myself in the travel section of the library
searching for a honeymoon in Katmandu.
St John bristled when I wanted our first dance
to be to the tune of Sexual Healing. Every one
broke off the engagement before the tickets’
non- refundable fee kicked in. I kept thinking
I was Jane Eyre’s daughter. Weddings
were unpleasant since I would rush in late,
panting “I object” for the sheer joy of seeing
horrified expressions, maids tearfully ringing
hands and not bells. Today as I left another
thwarted nuptial, four fine blackbirds watched me
from the wires which connected my rubber ball
heart to my deeply anticipated “his.” My mother,
Aunt Reed, dear crazy Bertha, and daddy
in his mourning coat: the grim four posed perfectly
still like chessman while I crossed my bosom
which throbbed like the July sun and waited
with little patience for mother to play her next card.
Laurie Byro has been facilitating “Circle of Voices” poetry discussion in New Jersey libraries for over 16 years. Laurie was named “Poet of the Decade” by the Interboard Poetry Community as her poems received awards 42 times including 2012 Poem of the Year as judged by Toi Derricotte.