The  [              ]  Woman
Terry Ann Thaxton

You think you see her in the distance, arms crossed over her chest, a rabbit on each shoulder, another rabbit curled in the nook of where her elbow would be. You are sure she must have eyes. You’re not supposed to see them or that thin veil covering her face. A veil draped over her antlers. Antlers she wishes to be horns. She wants to be cruel. How can she be the devil when she is covered in pink flowers? Anyway, she is always missing. Do the earrings give her away? They dangle like grapes on chains and her mouth doesn’t move even when someone else tries to add her to the scene. One rabbit has a bow around its neck.  Looking back, she’s sure this started when she was a girl. She’d stand at a counter to order hamburger, French fries, soda, but the can I help you? was meant for the person behind her. She stood. Became the wind rushing out the door, flying into adult. Still no one sees.  The clouds are as real as her dress, the sky holds up the rabbits at her shoulders. Rabbits are visible. She is not. She is trying to not let you see the eye of the flowers she wears as rings. Eyes instead of pistils. Identical to the eyes of the rabbits.





Terry Ann Thaxton is the author of two collections of poetry Getaway Girl (2011) and The Terrible Wife (2013) winner of a Florida Book Award, as well as a textbook, Creative Writing in the Community: A Guide (Bloomsbury, 2014). Her essay “Delusions of Grandeur” won The Missouri Review 2012 Jeffrey E. Smith Editor’s prize. She has essays and poetry in Connecticut Review, Defunct, Gulf Coast, Cimarron Review, flyway, Sou’wester, Lullwater, Teaching Artist Journal, and other journals. She holds an MFA from Vermont College, teaches creative writing at the University of Central Florida where she also directs the MFA program.