Sunday, January 10, 2010

yusef komunyakaa


the old woman made mint
candy for the children
who'd bolt through her front door,
sillhouettes of the great blue

heron. she sold ten-dollar potions
from a half-lit kitchen. chinese boxes
furnished with fliers & sinkers. sassafrass
& lizard tongues. they'd walk out

of the woods or drive in from cities
clutching lovesick dollar bills
at a side door that opened beside
a chinaberry tree. did their eyes

doubt under orion as voices
of the dead spoke? they carried
photos, locks of hair, nail clippings,
& the first three words of a wish.

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