Autumn 2007 Volume One Issue Four

Frances Glessner Lee, Mother of Forensic Pathology
- Lisa M. Bradley

Frances, millionaire heiress,
never outgrew her miniatures
(though, admittedly, her scaled universe
grew quite skewed).

Careless of the cost,
zealous Frances crafted
fantastic facsimiles
in the name of forensic philanthropy:
one-inch-to-one-foot homes
complete with working windows,
blinking lights,
splintered doors,
and spent shotgun shells
on perfect parquet floors.

Rocking in her White Mountain mansion,
Frances knit miniscule cardigans
using stickpins and sewing thread,
then christened each carefully clad figure
with a dab of crimson on the chest or head,
pooling the same in painstaking puddles
on wee William Morris rugs
or scuffed kitchen linoleum
      artfully curled up in corners.

Her people thus prepared
Frances twisted their plastic, spattered limbs
amid diminutive magazines LIFE-like in every regard,
under tattered Coca-Cola calendars with sinister circled dates,
and beside prescription pill bottles,
their labels so small
Barbie herself would have to squint to read them . . .
if only she could stop screaming.

- END -

Lisa Bradley's poetry has appeared in ChiZine, Mythic Delirium, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Star*Line, and many other publications. Readers can learn more about the real Frances, and see some of her dioramas, at .html

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