Charlottes and Janes
Theodora Ziolkowski
Far from the red room Jane Eyre
pummeled her fists against

and beyond the yellow paper
that enveloped a doctor’s wife,

Dick and Jane sit
in a field
grinning at themselves.

Dick’s britches are grass-stained,
Jane’s jumper is trailing its straps —

    Oh, see Dick. Funny, funny Dick

Their words make a typeface
splashed across pencil clouds —

and there are no red
or yellow walls,

no meadows on the floor
where your daughter writes

CHARLOTTE inside the
Little Golden Book cover,

after all
finders aren’t keepers.

    Oh! she points.

See Jane laughing in Dick’s face.

Theodora Ziolkowski’s poetry and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in Glimmer Train, Prairie Schooner, and Short FICTION (England), among other journals, anthologies, and exhibits. A Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets nominee, Theodora is the author of the poetry chapbook A Place Made Red (Finishing Line Press) and short story chapbook Mother Tongues, winner of The Cupboard’s 2015 contest.