Burning the Spiral Notebooks by Irene O’Garden

flaming black and white coal
Burning Coalcourtesy of Flickr Commons. CC license.
In spite of the impending blizzard,
my friend and I agree, “Today
we have to burn our spiral notebooks.”
Those tortured scribbles of our youth
haunted our attics like madwomen,
voices of the grieving girls we were,
maps of the clumsy steps we took.
On fire, their beauty took our breath away.
Fire turned fear and wound to flaming
peonies. Sweat rained. Casting book
after book to the fabulous heat,
casting off anguish like souls between lives.
Fire turning pages in farewell,
wavering ash like shirred silk.
Suddenly, laughter collapses us,
sprung like the spiral spines,

free of their books.


Irene O'Garden
Irene O’Garden has won or been nominated for prizes in nearly every writing category from stage to e-screen, hardcovers and literary magazines and anthologies. Her critically-acclaimed play, Women on Fire, (Samuel French) played sold-out houses at Off-Broadway’s Cherry Lane Theatre. O’Garden won The Pushcart Prize for her lyric essay Glad To Be Human, featured in her forthcoming essay collection by that name (Mango, May 2020). Last year Mango published her latest memoir, Risking the Rapids: How My Wilderness Adventure Healed My Childhood. Harper published her first memoir, Fat Girl and Nirala published Fulcrum, her first poetry collection, in 2017.

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