Summer 2006 Poetry Competition First Prize

Cave-Haven Woman

by Carol Wolrich



She believes it was her eighth escape cup

of fruit punch that tripped her tipsily

down the rabbit hole, into her present

cave-haven home. Fate chose not to break

her ankles and, since that mad midnight

tumble, she has turned her back on

pressing people and all the depressed,

preferring to live alone. Solitary, yet

not confined; her mind as free to wander

as the unconstrained birds that breeze

by her open window, above the sunlit waves.


"This is how it was meant to be," she shines

in her cliff-bound residency. "I am the great

escapee. How the newspapers must have gone

overboard. Perhaps they think I fell into

the sea? Not everyday the keeper of others'

sanity flips her shaken mind, and throws

caution to the keys of the sanatorium.

I never knew I could thrive as a recluse,"

she marvels as she cooks gulls' eggs on a fire

of crackling broom. "In another age they'd

have burned me at the stake for witchery.


But only if they'd managed to find me..."

 ©2006 Carol Wolrich

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