I dreamt I lost at musical chairs, was forced to stand.
Strangers shoved me toward the outside door.
Fear stirred anger, overwhelmed grief.
Fierce, I yelled, “Don’t push me!”
Noise, smells, rushing.
Would out be better than in?
I turned the doorknob.
Cool, dark, quiet. Rustles.
Arms folded under my tight chest, I leaned
against the trunk of a tulip magnolia.
Nubs and edges of the massive tree scratched
so I stepped away, dropped my arms, opened my palms.
Breezes teased the insides of my elbows.
Dead family murmured, circled my wrists,
pulled me down the path. I was surprised by ease.