Apr/May 2011 Poetry Special Feature


by Jennifer Finstrom

Photo by Austin Robinson

Photo by Austin Robinson


In my grandmother's house, I wake
early in the bed the caretakers once
slept in and creep down carpeted steps.

The breakfast room is alight as the sun,
uncowled, makes its approach across the lake,
and I hope that catching the books asleep

might reveal a new meaning to their order.
I climb a chair and take pictures where they
line shelves along the ceiling, record where

The Lonely Hunter, a biography of Carson
McCullers, drowses next to Leaves of Grass,
Herzog, and a book about Picasso. But

my pictures seem blurry and incomplete,
the titles difficult to read, as if the books
had flinched at the moment I attempted

to capture them, shy animals not
wishing to be seen. And the open
dictionary I will not disturb, but let sit

unfinished on its stand, its granite silence
so deep that I don't approach the last page,
will never guess the final word defined.


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