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12 THEMISSOURIREVIEW THE NEED TO HOLD STILL / Lisel Mueller Winter weeds, survivors of a golden age, take over the open land, pale armies redressing the balance Again we live in a time of fasting, burlap cassocks, monks on their knees, bells tolling in an empty sky among the thin, the trampled on, the inarticulate clothed in drafts and rooted in shocked earth which remembers nothing fields and fields of them Teasel Yarrow Goldenrod Wheat Bedstraw Queen Anne's lace Drop-seed Love grass: plain, strong names bread and water Lisel Mueller 13 A woman coming in from a walk notices how drab her hair has become that gray and brown are colors she disappears into that her body has stopped asking for anything except calm * When she brings them into the house and shortens them for the vase, their stems break like old bones, clean No holding on No bitter odor No last drop of juice Hers, as long as she wants them Their freedom from either/or will outlast hers every time * The dignity of form after seduction and betrayal by color 14 THE MISSOURI REVIEW the heads separate, but held together by an old design no one has thought to question the open pods that have given and given again dullness of straw, which underlies the rose the grape the kiss the narrow leaf blades shape of the body the fine stems, earliest brush strokes, lines in the rock, on the wall the page ...


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pp. 12-14
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