Millie’s Origin Story
There’s no murder or assault,no arson or petty theft
or even, technically, a crime.Just, for 1918, an ordinary grief:
a brother—only brother, only sibling,still in Army training camp—
lost not to war but to flu.How his letters had comforted
yet irritated with false cheer.Don’t worry, little sis. I’m swell.
Then nothing. No visits permitted,no goodbyes, not even a body,
not even a proper funeral,her family’s mourning quarantined.
Masks stitched of white gauzeslashed across their faces.
Carrie Green is the author of Studies of Familiar Birds: Poems (Able Muse Press, 2020). She earned her MFA at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and has received grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, the Kentucky Arts Council, and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Her poems have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Poetry Northwest, Blackbird, Cave Wall, and many other journals. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and works as a librarian in a public library.
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