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Three Poems by Ingrid Jendrzejewski

Pear Tree

I am turning into a pear tree. It has taken me months to realize it, but there are things that, after time, one can’t deny. My legs have become stiff and unyielding. Wooden, one might say, if one lacked tact. My bodily systems have begun to feel botanic, tuberous. My heart is made of cellulose. My mind is full of syrup.

When I was younger, I ran. I ran constantly. I ran from responsibility, I ran from myself. Now, I am slowing: things that used to be easy are now difficult. Things that used to be difficult are now fading from memory. Something within me is ceasing.

Still, the onset of spring is nigh. I can feel it in my bones, in my branches, in my flesh. Although I do not know if my thoughts will continue, the changing of the seasons is easing my transformation. Soon, I will begin to bud. My dormant ovaries will burst into flower, and in the fall, there will be ripe, fresh fruit.

When I Dream, I Dream of Love and Wax

When I tell theatre-goers that I am a dresser, I can see their fingers twitch as they imagine me in the hurried darkness of the wings, running my hands along the intimate curves of the star-spangled, celebrated.

What they do not realise and what I do not tell them is that I am actually a dresser in the sideboard sense, the sense of bureau, of chest of drawers, of highboy. I hide my nobs with baggy jumpers and my cabriole legs with broomstick skirts. My bones are made of face frame. I never reveal the contents of my drawers.

One day, perhaps, the right person will come along, open me up, and rifle through my innermost spaces. I imagine she will find something inside of me that can cover us: something that will glitter under the parcans and quietly transform mothballs and sawdust into sequins and light.

The Displacement

The day her childhood home passed into another family’s hands, her panic began, a panic deep and seeping, a panic that could stain. Her heart beat loudly; her teeth trembled.

It’s all in the head, she thought, so she removed her mind from her body, and was surprised that it didn’t seem to be attached to her physical self. It was damp and asymmetric. She held it in her hand and wondered at its texture. She felt as if it could open things, so she wielded it as if it were a doorknob or a key.

But a door is meaningless without a threshold, and a body without a mind can still support longing. So, she fashioned a roof out of her disembodied thoughts and sat beneath it. She wanted it to catch her memories as they floated away, and recreate at least the semblance of what she was already beginning to forget she lost.

Mithila Review: Fund Drive

Ingrid Jendrzejewski
Ingrid Jendrzejewski grew up in Vincennes, Indiana, studied creative writing at the University of Evansville, then physics at the University of Cambridge. Her writing has found homes in places like Passages North, The Los Angeles Review, Rattle, The Conium Review and Jellyfish Review, and she has received honours such as the Bath Flash Fiction Award and the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando Prize for flash fiction. Links to Ingrid’s work can be found at www.ingridj.com and she occasionally tweets @LunchOnTuesday.

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