Jul/Aug 2010 Poetry


by Ken Poyner

Artwork by Costel Iarca


There is a lady raving on the roof.
It is dangerous for her to be up there:
The roof has an angle, not all
The tiles are even, and it is quite
A ways from the second story
To the flat, uncomforting lawn.
She gestures as though to draw her complaint,
Walks the spine of the roof as though
Years she has been a master roofer,
Knows how to keep gravity evenly split.
As we get closer we can see
She is not all that steady, that distance
Made us assume she was doing well.
Her feet turn out, her legs quiver from the effort,
Half of her flailing is only a grasp for balance.
This will not end well. Closer still
We can tell she is not complaining,
That her gestures are simple instruments to draw
Us in, keep herself upright.
We are clearly in her fall zone now,
Can hear her uneven voice, understand
The unconditioned nature of her movement.
She is trying to tell us
There is a woman on the roof,
And that she is that woman.


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