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by Carolyn Fredericks

A thin film shivers on the trees
And they wash gently in the rising rain.
A woman pasted into a landscape
Waits to cross the street, brown mottled briefcase
And three roses in crinkled wax paper
Smudged into her hands.
And the tar-laced traffic threads thinly
Into the familiar wail of whitewash on wood
And the damp leaves spill sand-aged,
Glazing the herringbone roads with stains of storms past
And the telephone poles strung in silence
Reach in open metaphor for a dawn of stucco and string.

I arose to the tappings of a white streak of sky
On wet slate, to sap-sticky pines spread thin
Over brown needle seas and strips of salt grass,
Pale sunlight crisp on pavement spilling
Into the furrowed dirt treadpaths of old leather boots.
And I startled the crows to liquid, settling
In bent black slashes over the wheat fields,
The smelted stalks of grain in plain lines on the horizon--
And I lowered my arms and the clouds over the broken brick buildings
Were cotton swabs on marble, the sun a glass bead--
The air hung-- I pulled at it,
Cord on a windowshade.

I slipped in a ravine
And my breath threaded through my throat--
Over my arms torrid stings of sand-grained air,
Above me tongues of wind
Lashing out in fervent orations of leaves--
And the rain, in cold shots.
I, figure A, outstretched on a plane,
Limp in the lines of the land that speed around me--
Aerial view, spinning into day,
Waxing into the familiar yellow light of memory--
Limbs fallen, lingering, pressed into earth
After a broken line of footsteps.

© Copyright 1997, Carolyn Fredericks, All Rights Reserved.

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Document last modified on: 12/01/1997

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