Nancy Drew and the Case of the Mysterious Will
You have ditched the plastic pumpkin
for a smart burnished satchel, a clue
to your pragmatic need for candy
on a night of gorging and bobbing
and greedy masked faces of boys with swords.
We have made your blue dress together.
I spy you taking notes about collars of the era.
Premeditated, you’ve cut your hair early October.
You would have dyed it blonde and pin curled
each lock, if you had agency beyond third grade.
You have no use for the Spooky Store, kitten ears
or princess veils. What you want is a clock,
old and German, or skeleton key with heavy
filigree, hidden in a hedge on Halloween.
There will be no dayglow bones or blinking safety wand.
You will coast up a driveway in a blue Roadster
to the obvious house, the one with the full-size
candy bars and useful pencils, orange and black.
Carry that clock under your arm. Interrogate every knight
by Titian porch light. What is your quest? Why such flimsy
fire-safe garb if you are here under orders of a king?
You will peel each apple until a mystery is solved,
brilliant and genuine as the pearls at your neck.
About the Author
Colleen Michaels directs the Writing Studio at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts, where she hosts The Improbable Places Poetry Tour bringing poetry to unlikely places like tattoo parlors, laundromats, and swimming pools. Yes, in the swimming pool.
Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies including Barrelhouse, The Paterson Literary Review, Mom Egg Review and Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse Press). Her poems have been commissioned as installations by The Massachusetts Poetry Festival, The Peabody Essex Museum, and The Trustees of Reservations.