Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Paul’s Daughter

She loved nests,
or at least the notion of
one universe soundly fit
within another’s notion of
nurturance, held together
with nothing more than
sand, straw, mud, thistle.
Expectation fashioned
from a random point
of origin—plain paper rose
of wasp or a divot in the dunes
teeming with turtle nestlings—
ocean, an instinct,
a path thrashed in sand.
Wreath and cone, crescent, cup,
what the trees held,
what the twig bent willingly into,
what the frizzle of grasses
meant stitched into unison.
Would he remember how
she’d pretended small things
into the cup of her girl palm,
reshaping the ovals of eggs
from tins of clay,
rolling coils into soft walls
again even as he lay dying
in a bed in their living room,
even as he curled and sank
beneath the light of her eyes.
At night her mother would find her,
small and dangling at the edge
of the mattress, because in her dreams
she would be flying.  end  

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