Gwendoline the Ghostly Garden Gnome by Natasha Baumgartel

Hello Stranger

March 31, 2020

Underground, I lie.

Deep in a damp slumber I can hear 

The churning of my stomach and the fire raging in my head.

If my head were to crack open like an egg, destined for scorching pan,

My burning brain would illuminate this cave.

What I would give to crack my head on the counter and let this pesky brain sizzle.


My dismal abode, I’m cocooned.

Sheets tangle around my hips and knees

I drown in my hair, this womb is unkind.

The witching hour weighs deep on my eyes like iron.

Clangs melt through hollow walls and drip into my eyes

Thick honey on my lash line

Giving subtle suggestions of resignation.


A corpse lies in my bed but it’s not me.

She is pale, she is medieval.

Her body is folding into itself.

Her bones are brittle and her sickly face seems to say

“Let me go”


I ask if she’s running away from her life or

Straight into the burning house.

No answer.

I tell her how I got these scars on my hands

And how I sneak out the back door on humid nights to call an unrequited love.

The cadaver listens to my woeful lies and wisdom

Of a pitiful life.


She learns about my 

Impatientence with the vapid conversations that fill the air 

Between the people I used to love.

Maybe I haven’t tried everything.

I mock the people who tell me

It’s possible to be revived.

I envy the people who reassure me

That I’m not too far gone yet, there’s always hope,


The corpse says nothing

But a menacing grin develops.


Her silence is maternal and consoles a hungry soul like mine.

I grew comfortable with the girl in my bed.

The unfamiliar face took my place and I no longer have to 

Carry out the monotonous rituals 

Of a Godless life 

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