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The Follower's Tale by Stephen Roger Powers

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After Her Parade

Powers, Stephen Roger

The lights are off, everybody’s gone
home.  Dolly walks alone through Dollywood.
She listens to her heels tap like whatever

raps lightly on my bedroom door.
The wooden gristmill wheel creaks, lumbers
round and round.  She stops,

feels on her fingertips
the electricity in an eagle’s fallen
feather, smells the dead fires

that have cooked glass, potatoes,
sausages, and horseshoes all day.

She enters her new Chasing
Rainbows museum, steps down

the grand staircase, one hand
on the railing, one hand
over her heart.  Her old dresses hang

empty on display, video screens
toss shadows, a wall of magazine
covers grins back at her.

She closes her eyes, dreams of her
coat of many colors gliding
arms outstretched in the wind over autumn
leaves and wildflowers,

sings a few lines of “Wayfaring
Stranger” loud enough so she echoes
and the sequins and rhinestones on

all the dresses
jingle like the bead curtain
over my entryway back home.


Copyright Stephen Roger Powers 2009

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