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Gettysburg Review
Gettysburg College | 300 N. Washington Street | Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Alice Friman

Carried Away


The Rapture must have been cancelled.
The only sudden flight I’ve seen
belongs to the bird nesting in my begonias
who takes off each time I open the door.
Too bad. I was sure I’d be chosen: popped
out of my comfort zone and sent
spinning like a fluff into space, ejected
from my rocker, ejected from my shoes,
and if you think the Ineffable doesn’t have
a sense of humor, my clothes. The crack
of doom and all that, the barometric
pressure of the moment, all mountains
awake and marking time. And I’m rising
in a column of fire—all the wane
and wax of my days melting off and away
until like a naked wick vibrating my string
I soar into the arms of Orion. So what
if the pot roast scorches on the stove,
and Grandma, locked frantic in the bathroom,
ends her days jiggling a knob? A favorite
is a favorite. Why shouldn’t it be me, picked
for the big prom in the sky, queen of the blue
gymnasium decorated with stars. No dress,
no corsage. The only embellishment, a wee
spark for the bellybutton, enabling me
to fit into the whirling void of the empyrean,
filling gaps in the zodiac so that those left behind
can look up and read the little of what’s left
of their fortunes while admiring my beatific shine.


Alice Friman has new work in the Georgia Review, the MacGuffin, the Missouri Review Online, Subtropics, the Women's Review of Books, and others. Her sixth full-length collection of poetry is The View from Saturn (Louisiana State University Press, 2014). She lives in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she is poet-in-residence at Georgia College & State University.

Carried Away appears in our Summer 2015 issue.