Three Poems by Carrie L. Krucinski


Baby-making season has come and gone, again.

Young women who drank Moscato and complained

of glass ceilings have become heavy breasted,

their children’s dinner always within reach.

As a child, I dreamt of babies, bottles, booties.

There was a flow chart with marriage at the top

with a child every two years until there were three.

That life is distant, a dream destroyed by an internal

clock, psych meds, and doctor’s appointments written

in red on a wall calendar filled with insipid quotes

telling me when doors close, windows open.

Meds that kill every foreign cell require condoms, the pill.

I am a woman of a certain age staring into a future of empty

dinner tables, full pill boxes, and a house no one calls home.


The wolf at the door has been

quiet these past three years.

I’ve stacked books, chairs,

paper weights, my marriage

license under the knob.

Lately I’ve heard knocks,

scratches, an occasional

growl. I married a kind man

thinking this would keep me

safe, but I can be so mean

the doorframe shakes.

I forget the promises I made

on an October day threatening

rain when I walked down an aisle

dressed in ivory as shadows grow long.

My husband can go through

our front door whenever he pleases,

but I leave through

the garage hoping

to bypass any reminder

of the life that left me

with scars along

my upper arms.

Mother says I have

Aunt Mary’s arms

soft, no muscle, good

for cradling a baby.

A child would ask

the questions my husband

doesn’t dare.

My child would know

the monster is real.


After looking at my scars, you pulled down

my sleeves kissed my forehead. You could

have put me back, but you gave me

a ring,

a little house

a dog.

There will never be children

with little toes on cold hardwood; my

medication kills whatever dares

to grow inside.

I don’t mind, you whisper,

we’ll practice field maneuvers

outrun hell.

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Carrie L. Krucinski is poet and English adjunct living in Elyria, Ohio with her husband, Steven, and two dogs. Her work has recently been published in, or is forthcoming from, The Broken Plate, Critical Pass Review, The Stockholm Review of Literature, Lehigh Valley Vanguard, and Hotel Amerika. She also writes a blog, If Rain Permits, which deals with feminism, mental illness, and creative writing.

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