When asked, she would say
her favorite color was
Like the baseboards and window frames
in her room.
On the white-papered walls
fairies and elves were drawn in colored chalks
cavorting among mushrooms and bluebells
under the vigilant eye of Raggedy Ann and Andy,
as she admonished her little sister not to touch
until she had sprayed them with fixativ.
There were white dust ruffles
on her bed and lacy curtains filtered the morning sun.
She was perhaps seven, or maybe eight.
Years later, when her years had doubled,
the wallpaper now was plaid,
the woodwork painted brown.
No more dust ruffles on her bed.
she crept into the icy bed
from the hot water bottles –
mason jars –
and door of the small pot-bellied stove
in the corner was left open
so the flickering flames
could keep her company.
The answer to the physics problem
would come in her dreams.
In the morning, frost flowers on the window panes,
replaced the lacy curtains.
The water in the mason jars,
no longer in the bed,
had turned to ice.
And the answer to that physics problem
now seemed obvious.