Marie Howe

Magdalene and the Interior Life

The pills were an army of white knights

and yellow and blue and green

and yellow and red.

The pills were the floorboards

and the bright lights that made what’s what possible.

They kept everything down – no laughter,

no out-of-control laughing or terror

no pictures either – which is what I hadn’t noticed all those years until I stopped.

Was it weeks later? months?

Suddenly an apple (I saw it!!

An image of an apple inside my self!)


Then a tree.

An elephant (inside my head!),

A wagon pulled by horses, a wooden wagon

the wheels squeaking along the rutted road. 

– the smell of dirt and water!

The tiny plop sound of falling rain filling

a tin can left out on a stone porch . . .

I imagined it!

Can you understand? I didn’t know until they came back

that the images had gone away for so long.

Like shy or frightened animals, slowly they came back.