Coyotes Howl in Fallbrook

in Poetry

Two Poems by Marcella Carri


When she was eighteen she set her hair on fire then ran through the rest of her life as fast as she could so the flames would not consume her.

Some were afraid of a woman running with her hair on fire Others were confused: Is she dancing? Look how gracefully she spins!

Some were drawn to the heat, some to the light. But in the end, everyone who came close was scorched a little.


Tall and colorful guarding my grandmother’s porch, they came invited as old friends every spring pushing past the hard red dirt. They were our protection from the world ruffled sentinels at attention, impressive in their splendid uniforms.

No one is poor, who has hollyhocks. What store-bought bride doll, who can’t be touched unless you wash your hands, could ever compete with dozens of whirling ladies dancing at the ball? The pansies pursing their painted faces were envious of the ruffled skirts of the hollyhock belles.

Late in the Fall, the blossoms withered and died, a reminder, that Beauty always fades. Even in death, our valiant guards made their intentions known. The swords of those naked stalks defended many kingdoms and castles from marauding bill collectors and other evil doers. And in the Spring, like Jesus, the hollyhocks rose again.

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Marcella Carri is a retired teacher. She taught English for seventeen years. She also taught Education classes for Chapman University and worked as a student teacher evaluator. Later, She was an area administrator for an after-school tutoring program for Escondido School District. These days, she is involved in a writing class with Kit-Bacon Gressitt and Kate Harding. She is working on a novel and learning to write poetry. “Life is good!”

Image by Frances1972 via a Creative Commons license.