Klimt Tells My Story
by Heather Lyke

Danaë, in fetus curl, sleeps 
at the base of her bronze tower. 
Rendered peaceful, 
Lips parted mid-
word. Hand clawing with plans to change the world. 

If I’d been shown her 
in art class, 
my thick thighed, 
frizzy curled, 
tiny titted, 
pale self 
may have 
that someday 
I too 
could be perceived 

Decades later,  
waterlogged and weathered, 
a man will think he saves her. 
From the box she’d been kept in, 
tendrils to match the golden rain
that once poured life into her womb 
will waterfall over candescent skin:
she will rise on powerful legs: stand tall—
she will lead cities with heart as it beats in her tiny chest. 

I too 
will build community.
The oracle knew. 

Seven Years After My Hysterectomy
by Heather Lyke

I’m sitting chancel, running lyrics
over lips before the organ sounds. 
Pipes poised, the bulletin lists us next. 

I’ve not been 
to a church 
in two years—
I fight the light 
on the horizon. 
Roll over, relax 
into pillow, commit 
to this dream. 

A woman in the front pew shifts her weight, 
shifts her eyes to me, shifts the bulk 
of her baby onto her shoulder, stands 
suddenly, steps forward,
    hands me the child. 

My score askew, the baby shifts, sighs, 
and nests herself into my chest 
with eyes on me like whole notes. 

I watch the woman exit toward sanctuary. 
As the cantata in D minor begins,
begging me to add my voice. 

A major aria fills my mind. 

The music in the room, in my head, 
halos her—us: her skin bronzed 
by the windows’ stained light.

She matches my antique hope 
chest, once my mother’s: 
hide your dreams inside.

Her skin and the hopeful wood both weave 
scents of lemon and lavender. Fresh.
As refined as a perfect fifth, inverted.

The half rest before the chorus 
wakes me. The woman returns:
no explanation. Takes back the child.

My heart beats harmony as choir crescendos:
Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir.


Heather M. F. Lyke is a writer living in southern Minnesota. During the day, she works in K-12 education, says 'yes' to far too many things, and communicates in metaphor. In the evenings, she mainly focuses on the metaphors. Her works can be found in various literary magazines, such as The Elevation Review, Eclectica Magazine, Halfway Down the Stairs, MockingHeart Review, and online at https://heatherlyke.weebly.com.