Edith Piaf
was lie down drunk
in the Bois de Vincennes
when she lost
a skeleton key.

And though
she was unsure
as to what the key
she was certain
she must recover it.

The mist was low,
the morning
smelled of mushrooms,
when Edith
returned to the forest.

As she searched
through the clover
where she laid with the man
who’d then pay for her small
daughter’s coffin,
a deer stepped from behind
a beech tree.

Quiet and anxious
as a prayer,
Edith watched this deer.
—this doe whose
sherry-colored eyes
were set in the face
of Emily Dickinson.

And when
the stoic gaze
of Emily Dickinson
met the eternal surprise
of Edith Piaf’s eyes,
there was an exchange.

Then Edith knew
the lost key
no longer mattered,
that which was locked
was thrown

Then the doe
turned and bounded
in vast, joyful leaps.

Jennifer Ann Dennehy lives in Colorado, with neighborhood owls, cats, and other family. She spends a fair bit of time recreating prairies, repurposing cardboard and rooting for migratory birds. Jennifer has had poems published in the Cold Mountain Review