February 9, 2012

Turret, By Jan Sullivan

Editor's Note: Jan Sullivan's poem was named as an honorable mention for the January contest. Enjoy!

Spin straw into straw
my spindle struggles,
In my tower, stone on stone on stone,
It is cold, I heap half my straw into a bed
and half to a makeshift cover.

I remember warmth, my mother’s voice
was kind and soft, she sang me to sleep
when my life was rich and full
of flowers in meadows, streams
a fire, the wood I chopped.

My tower, this tower, it is not of me
but holds my pain, the key in the lock
clangs as my jailor leaves.

They talk of the castle, the villagers,
jewels and dreams, turrets shine by moonlight.
Stone is hard, stone is hard, entrapment
is entrapment. I’d cast these jewels, this silk
to the rocks, if I could go with them.

But windows are slits, their stone-sided view
mocks me. I see birds fly, looking for sparse
winter food and I’d dig with my hands
in bare, crusted earth if I but could.

I spin straw into straw
into straw.

Janette Sullivan lives near the beach in subtropical Queensland in wonderful Australia. She shouldn’t need to go to other worlds, but she’s doing it again.


  1. I love the idea of the tower holding her pain, or holding it in. What a terrific image.