Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich | The dream

My Auntie Betty came to me in a dream
dressed in a long black unsightly dress
reaching the ground, with a black lace veil
covering her despondent face.

She wore long black gloves, and black
rosary beads hung around her neck.
She was walking around Rockland Cemetery’s
front lawn, asking for forgiveness.

I saw tears hiding
over a young girl’s face.
She had not aged in death.
Why had I imagined that she would get old?

If I had gone insane—
how would I want to be remembered?
Querido Deus when does the suffering end?

Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich is a volunteer English instructor with the University of the People and also teaches poetry and screenwriting at Westchester Community College. The author of “Opening the Black Ovule Gate” (2018), We Are Beautiful like Snowflakes (2016), both from (, she has poems forthcoming or recently published in WRATH, Transcendent Zero Press Anthology, Ancient Paths, Poetry Leaves Exhibition and 2019 Anthology, SLOTH by Pure Slush The Literary Nest, Remembered Arts Journal, Breadcrumbs Magazine, I Am STRENGTH Anthology, Greed 7 Deadly Sins Vol. 3, Caligragile, Medical Literary Messenger, Obsidian, Civilized Beast Vol III, the Writers Café Magazine, Moon magazine, Madness Muse Press: Destigmatized Anthology,, Gather Round: A Collaboration of Cave Canem Workshop and Retreat Poets, and The Journal of Poetry Therapy. She was a volunteer mentor for Pen America’s Prison Writing Program. She was also a recipient of a Marthas Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Fellowship in 2016. She has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Piermont, NY.

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