Step into the bath, she insists. Let your tangled hair stream around you …




With both joy and a tinge of melancholy, BROAD STREET presents the final installment of Marylen Grigas’s poetic series about illness, art, and hope, illustrated by Riley McAlpine-Barthold.  We’ve loved these poems; we hope you have too.

Click on the poem above for a printer-ready broadside, or scroll past the bios for simple text. And …



Marylen Grigas was the author of  the poetry collection  Shift, out this fall from Nature’s Face publishers.  Her poems have recently been published in The New Yorker, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Circulo de Poesia. She lived in Vermont and worked at an architectural stained glass studio.  Read about her inspiration for this series by clicking on her Truth Teller Spotlight.

Riley McAlpine-Barthold grew up in rural Vermont in a cabin without electricity or running water but with lots of time to draw.  After college, she moved to L.A., where she worked as an artist and painter.   Now back in Vermont, Riley continues to make art and is also a certified Bioenergy therapist.


Notes From a Capricious Correspondent




Through half-shut blinds above the filling tub,

morning illuminates vapors of steam:

a fantasia of gold-leafed lemons


bright and sudden as coins

pulled from a magician’s sleeve,

a mere mixture of water and dust.


Next a burlesque—sheerest silk veils shimmy

across my sulky, mirrored face

when, by subtle indirection,


another beam gathers its soulful skirts and rolls

in the roundness of the porcelain sink,

as if being handwashed and gently squeezed


by some invisible Nereid. Step into the bath, she insists.

Let your tangled hair stream around you.