Lilies Falling from The Ceiling

Once, my children hung inside me
attached by veins. I imagine ribbons

twisted. More than once, my brain
reduced to ribbons, humming

all night wanting a way out.
Sometimes I stared at objects

smashing them inside my stare.
Imagined toppling the television

off its little plastic pedestal
or cracking secondhand plates

hard on soft linoleum
when toddlers wouldn’t let me sleep,

the lilies stopped me like stars—
ghost-white ones I bought

from the dollar store, cut up
and hung upside down attached

by satin ribbons, falling from the ceiling.
They watched over the whole industry of us:

hustling woman with exhaustion and children
who grew and grew against

my dissatisfaction winding its way through
the apartment like a snake.

Against my panics, they learned to finally sleep,
legs lengthening every night.


Photo used under CC.


About Author


Natalie Solmer grew up in South Bend, Indiana. She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Indianapolis Review, an online journal of poetry and art. She previously worked as a grocery store florist for 13 years and now teaches composition and writing at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis and lives a mile from the famous Indy 500 racetrack. Her work has been published in journals such as Willow Springs, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Cimarron Review, North American Review, Pleiades, and Briar Cliff Review. More of her publications can be found at

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: