Going Wrong

Marilyn L. Taylor

Marilyn L. Taylor’s poems have appeared in Poetry, The American Scholar, Measure, and many other journals and anthologies. Her work has taken first place in competitions sponsored by Dogwood, Passager, The Ledge, GSU Review, and The Atlanta Review. Her second full-length poetry collection titled Subject to Change (David Robert Books, 2004) was nominated for the Poets Prize in 2005.

Taylor taught poetry and poetics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Department of English and for the university’s Honors College for many years. She is a contributing editor for The Writer magazine, where her articles on poetic craft appear bi-monthly. She served as Poet Laureate of Milwaukee for 2004-05 and was appointed Poet Laureate of Wisconsin in 2009.

Going Wrong was recently reviewed in the Winter 2010 issue of Verse Wisconsin. The full review may be read here.

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They called the circumstances drug-related
when they found her–face-up, open-eyed,
bloody, but fully clothed. Witnesses said
the murdered girl had not been violated
–and you could call that lucky. Her first stroke
of luck since the convulsive day she fled
from the cold kitchen where her mother spread
her fury every morning, black and thick
for breakfast, making the corrupted air
unfit to breathe. Forcing her out the door.
I’ll kill the little bitch her mother swore
when she comes crawling back from god-knows-where–
a comment the police chose to ignore,
because it hardly mattered anymore.