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Cordelia Hanemann

Cordelia Hanemann is currently a practicing writer and artist in Raleigh, NC. A retired professor of English at Campbell University, she has published in numerous journals including Atlanta Review, Connecticut River Review, Southwestern Review, and Laurel Review; anthologies, The Poet Magazine’s new anthology, Friends and Friendship, Heron Clan and Kakalak and in her own chapbook, Through a Glass Darkly. Her poems have won awards and been nominated for Pushcarts. Recently the featured poet for Negative Capability Press and The Alexandria Quarterly, she is now working on a first novel, about her roots in Cajun Louisiana.

straight jacket

it is always cold here
i like it i worship
the great anesthetist

i’ve come in good company
sylvia roasting in her fireless oven
ann sucking fumes in her closed garage
mother drowning in her brown drink
all girded with good-girl smiles

a straight jacket will do
white and tight wrapped
i hug myself forcibly
against the cold contained

hands hide in the folds of the coat
white sterile clean
smelling of bleach
and institutional soap
hands flat against crisp-ironed cotton
pat the sides of my back
make it bearable

insults from a man in a suit
children falling out of my body
tangles of tissue all
those words on all those pages
miles and miles of smiles

beneath I fear
a real heart pumps
i’m still here
to push on the gown
that keeps my breasts
concealed by cross-my-heart arms

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