After reading my friend’s poem*

October 25, 2014

Luci Shaw - After reading my friend's poem
After reading my friend’s poem
— for Jeanne
By Luci Shaw
2014 Merit Award

The words do flips off the page
like fledglings sprung from the boredom
of the nest. Nothing is safe, now; everything
expands, freed to be itself, or something else.
A phrase is warming up and down the scale —
a soprano vocalizing in my ear as I shrug myself
into my jacket. My car waltzes me
down the hill, we are both crazy with these fresh
verses that sing us right into town.

At the market I consult my list. It reads like
terza rima. I choose a golden squash, weigh
a small ham in my hand, consider grapes from Chile,
praising the seeds that shine up through
the pale green flesh. I sing the stickers on apples.
Wine bottles turn into lyrics for the eye.
Lordy, on the way home I even begin to poem
Bellingham weather, the cloud anthems, rain tympanis,
the rainbow oil on the puddles, the small syllables
of boats on the bay, their wet sails bellying. Gusto!

Copyright 2014 by Luci Shaw. Broadside designed by Anita K. Boyle, Egress Studio. Illustration by Angela Boyle, Flying Dodo Publications.


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