Piece work

Piecing together the way a word
arrives on the threshold

and then maybe is followed
haltingly by another; how a memory

might hold a little water, the sound
of a particular morning long ago

when the child woke to a tumult
in the household. The way a hot wind

that comes in the middle of the day
reminds her of catastrophe

and ghosts standing behind
the drapery, mouthing tremors—

When she hears others talk
of the important work of poetry

she wants to exit the french doors
and sit on the balcony to throw

pieces of bread to the birds, to count
how many shirts are drying on the line.

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