Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
 print version

The Two Selves

Wood smoke drifts across the meadow
from a cabin. Against its shingled side
a hoe reclines, a weed tangled in its tooth. 
A woman moves into the window frame 
with toast and coffee, watching the pine
tat its black latticework against blue heaven.
Pine, she says, not going for the verb,
but for the tree. Morning. She gropes 
to find a knob to steer the morning

leaving behind another self who swims up
to the rim and leans against the lip of marshy
sleep to watch as a beloved face slides
into darkness the way some prehistoric creature
might sink gradually until a bog heals over it. 
She is on duty, grieving. Until she can believe
her beloved’s gone, she will stay where
shadows whet their axes against the rocks.
Someday she may return with news. 

For now, let morning go on without her.    

return to top