I Know an Old Lady

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I know an old lady

old as the pines

she rises in moonglow

to wait for the dawn

shuffling through snow

the crooked mailbox

is empty.

I know an old lady who

sweeps her words into baskets

then sets them alight

sends her smoking critique

to the Lord on High

(you could have done better.)

I know an old lady who

swallowed the moon.

Her belly glowed green like a firefly,

and when she spoke

moonbeams poured through her teeth

like torches at midnight.

February

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The thing about February is

lashing its white icy tail

asleep in a basket of sticks

unopened

yet potent

as a wind bearing the north.

The thing about February is

its longing for change

leaning toward anything different

anything beside the silvering cold

a short haircut

a new recipe

a death.

The thing about February is

the constricting band that binds

hands to hips

ankle to ankle

the urge to sleep

until spring.

The thing about February is

the garden nursery store

a rack of seed packets

but no potting soil

no flower pots

no saucers.

The thing about February is

the crust of soiled snow

hungry birds fighting for seeds

while overtaken by weariness

an old lady leaves lost for home.

The Karakesh Chronicles

Available from

www.handersenpublishing.com

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