December 1, 2021

EMILY, BEING REALISTIC

—That she was nothing
in the face of morning rising,
viburnum snaking the upright
on its way to her father’s roof.

Or, she was flux only—
heading downward, body listing,
blooming the wrong way while
horses made their opinions known
to the passing road.

Or, caught in the act
of clasping soft shoes
to white-stockinged ankles—
she was less, even, than change.

Yet she would wake—
walk purposefully,
call the dog, feed the cats,
open the kitchen
to the first bird’s stirring; the rain.

She would wait at table—
as though entitled—
for the full bowl of the allegorical,
the odd-handed.

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