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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Attic by Kathryn Stripling Byer




Not buried
but piece by piece carried
up narrow stairs
into the rafters,

her leavings
have summered through
forty-five seasons
of Bible-Belt heat.

I can stand only so much
of being up here,
on this late August afternoon,
dead-end of summer

in which I come looking
for her again.
In the usual places.
This jewelry casket,

for instance.  Inside it
she stares from the heart
of a foliate brooch
that I raise in a tangle

of gold chains I don't
try to loosen.  She's still
here: a face
I have used up

with wonderings.
High cheekbones.
Hollows.
A mouth slightly open

and inside that
vacancy,
no invitation
for me to speak out of it.


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