Short stories, poems,
essays, and reviews have appeared in
Quarterly Journal of Women's Experience/WomanWeave Magazine
The Writing Self
Writing For Our
Woman & Earth
CAT'S MEOW!: An
Anthology of Cat Tales (Maine Rhode Publishers)
Our Mothers Our
Selves: Writers and Poets Celebrate Motherhood (Bergin & Garvey)
Chocolate for a
Woman's Heart (Simon & Schuster)
Wild Woman Enterprises
Journal In Appreciation Of All Animals
The Whole Cat
Chicken Soup for
the Single's Soul (Health Communications, Inc.)
Table (Fairview Press)
From the book Souleiado
that night, after Dena had fallen into a restless sleep,
Miriam tiptoed into her room and paused in front of an
octagonal mirror with a delicate hand-painted gold-gilt frame.
It had been a wedding gift from some old family
friends. She ran her fingers along the frame's raised edging, as if
she was feeling her way back .... To him?
To these restless souls who kept knocking on her
psychic door, demanding entrance?
She didn't know. Not
for sure. But somehow she knew that this was the mirror that Jared had
meant. The shape,
identical to that of the Root House, had appealed to the
architect in him. She opened the blue-and-white incolay jewelry box on
half-moon table beneath it and took out the amber bag; slowly,
her hands trembling slightly, she slid the earrings out and
latched them on. Then
Miriam turned to face herself in the mirror.
Only it wasn’t
Miriam Souleiado who looked back at her from the wedding
the cardinal-bright girl stood there, calling her with her
eyes, the garnets taking on a blackish cast in the dimly lit
room. Then she
was gone, and Miriam was left staring at her own puzzled face. But only for a second. The
face morphed again, and this time, it was Jared she saw, his
fine-boned boyish features and alert, mocking eyes
superimposed over her own.
Who’d you expect? the
eyes chided her gently. I'm here for you, babe. As
long as you need
What do I do now?
she asked him silently. Yearningly.
It took all her might to keep from trying to leap into
the mirror to grab hold of him.
Root House, he told her, his eyes glowing green, then blue.
My drawings ..
map you'll need ... And then he was gone, a flickering
ghost-light, and Miriam was alone in her room again, the dead
woman's garnets shimmering like dark stars against her ripply
from the book Souleiado
lifted her head and looked up into his eyes.
Suddenly, something in them called to mind Aaron Daniel.
The photographer's light-brown eyes had just the same shape
and expression as those blue ones she'd dreamed of in what now
seemed another lifetime. Was
it a dream? she wondered, as he pulled her closer. Who
are you? she asked
him silently now, just as she'd once asked the stranger looking out
at her from Elizabeth's antique mirror.
Just as she'd asked the man whose face she'd drawn during
that night-watch at her easel not so long ago.
You know me -- I know you, the eyes answered
her hungrily. We been knowing each other
reached up, touching a finger-tip to his lower lip. And just as he was bending to kiss her again, she saw Jared.
moved – perhaps floated was a better word, even
though it smacked of 19th-century table-rappings and levitation --
out of the shadows and knelt down beside the child, who was playing
with something back over by the desk.
He was little more than an outline, some parts -- his face,
shoulders, and chest -- more distinct than others; then, as his
daughter stretched out her arms to him, he began to lose that
milky-whiteness she'd spoken of and take on color and depth.
His clothes were different, Dena had been right on the money
about that, as Miriam saw at once: they weren't his usual
flannel-shirt-and-jeans ensemble or even what he used to facetiously
call his "wedding-and-funeral suit" but, rather, a
seaman's heavy jacket, rough trousers, and cap, all cut in a style
she'd never seen outside of an old sepia-hued photograph.
Otherwise, it was Jared , right down to his glasses.
And even those weren't his but the round wire specs of a
gasped, jerking her face away so that Dan's kiss missed her mouth
this time. She barely
noticed, so transfixed was she by the tableau before her.
For Jared had put his thin but muscular arms around Dena and
was cradling her to him, crooning one of his nonsense songs to her.
And as he did so, all sorts of details, from the cleft in his
chin to the ornate brass buttons on his pea-coat, became more
distinct, his eyes glowing green, then blue.
Yet Miriam knew that he wasn't "stealing energy"
from Dena, as Kilah would've put it; rather, the child's love was
making him visible. The
artist put her hand to her throat, as if to push the tears back, but
it was too late: they broke free of her fumbling attempt to keep
them in check and ran down her cheeks, leaving a muddied trail of
mascara and eyeliner behind them.
She was vaguely aware of Dan again -- of his hand
sliding slowly off her shoulder.
She wished she could've thought of the right words --
something warm to take the chill off the moment -- but all the right
words seemed to have gotten away from her like shimmery plastic
beads rolling off a necklace a child had left untied.
And, really, there was room for no one else at that moment.
For Jared stood there, his changeling's eyes glowing
blue-topaz and beckoning, a stray sunbeam from the small dusty,
cracked window just above the foundation bringing out the golden
tints in his hair and the copper ones in Dena's. Even the white mist that still clung to his arms and haloed
his head had taken on an opaline hue, turning both father and child
into stained-glass figures. Later
-- tomorrow, next week, next month -- there would be time for Dan.
But now she could only stand there, her soul remembering and
hungering for this other soul it knew inside-out.