A Fancy

Tamara Miles


I’ve a problem with my eye,
she explained, as the doctor
took his magnifying glass
in hand and solemnly peered
at the open orb, without
judgments of her whole person,
until he saw autumn there.

A tiny piece of reddish
leaf had lodged itself inside.

Madam, you have looked too long
at trees, a childish habit.


Lot’s wife studied the smelling
salts on the doctor’s high shelf,
which breathed themselves too deeply.


Once, a psychic came to town;
he heard golden glitter leaked
from her far too bright young eyes.

She did not want to be cured,
though he offered earnestly.


Nothing but fancy, he wrote
in his book, as if his own
eye held not a silver key
meant to turn a music box
that played a song his childhood
knew, and used to sing by heart.


Tamara Miles teaches English at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College in South Carolina.  She was honored to be a 2016 contributor at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and a resident at Rivendell Writers Colony in August, 2017.  Her poetry has been published in Fall Lines; Pantheon; Apricity; The Tishman Review; The Rush; Obra/Artifact; Snapdragon; Whatever Our Souls; The Cenacle; and other publications.  She is hosts a radio show called “Where the Most Light Falls” related to the arts, focusing on poetry and music at SpiritPlantsRadio.com.