Jan/Feb 2011 Poetry


by Helen Wickes


Of shaking a skeleton, demanding that it answer,
Of taking one breath then another,

That a voice commanded, Be a fingerprint tracer,
a theoretician of nothing,

That I swept up all the words my mother spoke,

We drove to Florida, got lost, then a man saying,
Venezuela, welcome to Venezuela,
We searched the yard by flashlight for the objective correlative,

Of leaving home with a suitcase, on foot, by rollerskate,
horse, train, swimming through air ten feet above ground,
Of standing quietly in a line which wrapped three times
around the Earth at the equator,

Of God saying don't worry so much about nightingales,
About an intruder who stole my vinegar, mustard, and hot sauce,
About a voice saying, Fold the shirts your father owned,
fold those shirts again.


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