That ladybug didn’t say trauma or grief

Slamming Open the DoorWe all judge books by there cover, even if it just a little part of the self. I chose Slamming Open the Door by Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno this way, for its bright white cover, shinny in the florescence above. The slim volume bore its title in pretty red script and below there was a singular ladybug. The ladybug was enticing. It made me pick up the book and flip through it pages, they were a sturdy 30% recycled stock, crème with black type. The majority of the poems seemed short. I gave a cursory glance at the back. There was an author’s photo of a friendly looking woman and a bunch of quotes by other people. I don’t read endorsements. I don’t trust them. I bought the book.

The heartache contained inside these poems colors my thoughts about the cover — that ladybug, is it lonely? That author’s photo, is she sad even though she smiles? I read the quotes — “the murder of her daughter.” My heart is sad and I don’t know if I want to go back inside those covers.

One more poem…page 30, “Homicide Detective”. I close my eyes against the images and then open them to read it again. I can’t bear anymore. I think I will save the rest for another day, but the poems keep calling me back. It has been a long time since I’ve read a poetry book with this much pull over my feelings.


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