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24 THEMISSOURIREVIEW WHAT SIGN / Patricia Goedicke What Sign do you live under Is it the Sign of Worry Or the Sign of the White Birds Feeling yourself full of ants Termites nesting in your hair There is a fine dust on the floor Chewed from the dull wood of the soul The endless tic tic of crickets Frets itself in the scrub forest Outside the house: inside Small no-color spiders Leap back and forth like pin heads Over the convulsed countries Of the violent map of the brain Refusing absolutely to be caught By the thin laces of your shoes The tiny mandibles of fear Flicking in and out of your head they won't stop Tomorrow's a long time away But standing here with me In such dangerous footsteps What Sign do we live under When the high pitched yap of dogs Shrieks like a can of worms in the night Instead of twisting like pimples Nibbled by invisible insects Bitten to death by familiars Patricia Goedicke 25 Why don't we ever look Outside our own windows It is easy enough to see them The strangers who arrived here yesterday Silent as clouds they sailed in Like kings conquering a new territory Dazzling our meager landscape, enormous As giant polar bears in mid-air They took over all the fir trees By the side of our shallow lake Six egrets like winged icebergs White rooftops flashing Craning their long necks Against the dawn sky On feathered hinges they kept singing Something without words, miraculous If we could only hear it Over the gray crickets and the spiders What Sign do you live under Is it the Sign of Worry Or the Sign of the White Birds 26 THEMISSOURIREVIEW THE ARRIVAL / Patricia Goedicke Luggage first, the lining of his suit jacket dangling As always, just when you'd given up hope Nimbly he backs out of the taxi Eyes nervously extending, like brave crabs Everywhere at once, keeping track of his papers He pilots himself into the home berth Like a small tug in a cloud of seagulls Worries flutter around him so thick It takes him some time to arrive And you wonder if he's ever really been happy: When the blue eyes blur And stare out to sea Whether it's only a daydream Or a long pain that silences him In such gray distances You'll never know, but now Turning to you, the delicate mouth Like a magician Is curious, sensitive, playing tricks, Pouting like a wise turtle It seems he has a secret With the driver, With the stewardess on the airplane So that even when he opens his arms, When the warm voice surrounds you, Wraps you in rough bliss, Just before you go under Patricia Goedicke 27 Suddenly you remember: The beloved does not come From nowhere: out of himself, alone Often he comes slowly, carefully After a long taxi ride Past many beautiful men and women And many dead bodies: Mysterious and important companions. ...


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