Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

— Virginia Woolf

Anna Pavlova

by Meg Eden

On the piano, her swan body shaking

every time my father hits a chord—


When he asks why she’s still there,

Anna is moved to my mother’s bedroom closet


where my father cannot complain

about the things she chooses to keep.


I remember when all the dolls were displayed

in the living room bookshelf. Now, my mother


eliminates them one-by-one, offering them

as gifts to new mothers who politely refuse.


Anna is the only one she keeps, holding her

to the light, saying, I was a ballerina once.




MEG EDEN’s work has been published in various magazines, including Rattle, Drunken Boat, Poet Lore, and Gargoyle. She teaches at the University of Maryland. She has four poetry chapbooks, and her novel Post-High School Reality Quest is forthcoming from California Coldblood, an imprint of Rare Bird Lit. Check out her work at:


The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.

—Cervantes, Don Quixote

© 2016 The Indianola Review