Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 19 . . .

The Skeleton on Top of Frida Kahlo's Four-Poster Bed

    poem by Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda
    after Frida Kahlo’s “The Dream” 1940. Oil on canvas. private collection.

It seemed natural to affix the fearsome thing,

                                                             Ready to explode

laced with firecrackers, to the bed’s canopy top

                                                             on Sábado de Gloria, 

Amused, Diego called the bony figure


my immortal lover    Once, I calmed a friend


who strayed into the bedroom for a peek,

                                                             a ritual—

the papier-mâché Judas sneering

                                                             hangs in effigy

as if ready to bound from its perch


I suppose it sounds perverse, but I derive


comfort from the skeleton, and so it stays put,

                                                             like a scapegoat,

caressing an armful of lavender and pink flowers

                                                             the form shrivels,

At night it dreams, as I do, and soars like a spirit

                                                             thin shreds of paper

through blinding clouds     My vine-covered bedspread


trails a verdant hue as we start to dance    And why not

                                                             out of control

dance with death, close as I’ve come to dying


Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda has published five books of poetry and co-edited two poetry anthologies. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines, including Autumn Sky Poetry, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, Best of Literary Journals, with work forthcoming in Poet Lore and An Endless Skyway, an anthology of poems by U.S. State Poets Laureate. She has received five grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, a Council for Basic Education fellowship award, multiple grants from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, an Edgar Allan Poe first-place award, a Virginia Cultural Laureate Award, four Pushcart nominations, and many others.  Carolyn also works as a visual artist. She served as Poet Laureate of Virginia, 2006-2008. Her website is:


© 2010 Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda