★ ★ ★ ★



If suddenly you find yourself
aligned by discipline to win
the goldmine of attention,

disquiet oozing the corners,
never ask the ramifications
should colleagues, friends, family
call your bluff, find
to your chagrin a frail reflection
of hopes and dreams corrupted
by deadly hints of the mundane,
bringing decline
of the bloodline,
any moment grabbed
by the scruff, you the linchpin
of the family design.

As you scale the towering heights,
will you decide you are not
enough, tightening
the screws toward stale
perfection, divinely
yourself, forever
doomed to second guess,
sweating the trifling stuff?


Stand on the cliff overlooking
the valley of truth, trust floating
wispy as clouds
and let your voice loose
with its lie

let it whir, rotating as it sinks,
heavy with sincerity, vivid
in embellishment

will it settle comfortably
or set askew, a match lit,
licking the tender edges
of relationship

a lie only as strong as
its weakest detail.

Eileen Mattmann’s poetry has appeared in Red Cedar Review, Kindness Anthology II, An Ariel Anthology, 2016, Zoetic Press, Blue Heron Review, the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ Museletter and calendar, BoomerLitMag and Portage Magazine. She is a quilter and began writing after a long teaching career.