Nina Corwin

Deconstructing Dorothy

In the dream about her parents,
they’re always Kodachrome
and anywhere but Kansas. Her aunt says
they’re on the other side
of the rainbow. The truth is
less romantic (those damn shades
of gray). They could see
which way the birds were flying.
Who says there is no place like home?
She climbs on her tandem
and starts to pedal. Toto too.
Pedal to the metal, he barks
from the side of his kisser.
Dorothy’s broomstick braids slap him
in the mug. Quit your yapping
and give me a munchkin for lunch
In the warp of the wind,
it comes out sounding like
let them eat cake,
I’ll have what’s behind the curtain
Toto’s tugging.
She wipes her mouth.
Gone the fiery godhead. Poof
of hot air. Nothing left
but dials and joysticks,
a wayward balloon. In the pantheon
of witches and saviors,
everything comes down
to feathers and straw. And feathers
don’t go far without wings.
Bucket of water, pull the plug.

Nina Corwin
“Deconstructing Dorothy” first appeared in Slipstream, no. 28, 2008, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.