Fern G. Z. Carr


Mildred Witman was along in years
now living on her own
in a Gothic Victorian manor
once her marital home.

She was prone to fits of nerves
so in the dead of night
the shrill ringing of the phone
awoke her in a fright.

With pounding heart and trembling hand
afraid of what she’d hear,
Mildred picked up the receiver
and put it to her ear.

She thought she heard someone singing
amidst the static hiss,
terrified she hung up –
what harbinger was this?

Every night at the stroke of three
plagued by infernal ringing,
Mildred heard the faint crackling
of the creature singing.

Every night the voice crescendoed
moaning its hideous song
until Mildred recognized it –
something was terribly wrong.

That was the piece her husband chose
for their wedding dance;
the shock of this realization
plunged her into a trance.

Overwrought, Mildred surrendered
and with a final sigh,
she whispered her husband’s name
then slumped over and died.

Rumour says it was Mildred’s husband
calling her on the phone;
though he’s been dead some fifty years
he couldn’t bear to be alone.


FERN G. Z. CARR is a former lawyer, teacher, and past president of both animal welfare and literacy organizations. A full member of and former Poet-in-Residence for the League of Canadian Poets, this Pushcart Prize nominee composes poetry in six languages including Mandarin. Her poetry collection is entitled Shards of Crystal (Silver Bow Publishing). She also curates her poetry YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/@ferngzcarr Carr has been published extensively from Finland to Mauritius and has had her work recognized by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate. Carr is thrilled to have one of her poems in permanent orbit around the planet Mars aboard NASA’S MAVEN spacecraft. www.ferngzcarr.com