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Prairie Schooner 80.3 (2006) 30-31

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Thirty-Year Meditation on an Act of Violence, and: Crying

Thirty-Year Meditation on an Act of Violence

Sun through my white skirt,
trees with their backs turned,

boot prints I knew had been
on the stairs all this time;

air that believed me, weeknight air
I breathed a minute ago,

oh unsweet dark, if my eyes
never close again on their own

I will keep the broken-off
piece of my key, the child's tooth

under its pillow; do you
have the rest, the part

the lock knows
by feel, and can you

give it to someone
for me? [End Page 30]


My father is crying because he has just been told
he can have his recliner from home.

He does not want his recliner from home, or
his desk, or his books, or pictures of us, or him,

when young. The things he loves that are there,
that he left, there, in that vacant place, behind,

must be angry at him. He misses them
but he can only stammer to please not bring them,

no. He is afraid of their shouting, and so he does not
want these things

in this room that has room now only for him, him
and his crying.

Frannie Lindsay's second volume of poetry, Lamb, is the 2006 winner of the Perugia Press Intro Award. It is forthcoming in the fall of 2006. Her first collection, Where She Always Was, won the May Swenson Award in 2004, and was published by Utah State University Press. She is a former NEA Fellow, and has received an Artist Grant in poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.



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