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Untitled poem with one shoe in it

On top of the green transformer box by the bus stop someone has set an infant's shoe. Lost, one imagines, and put there so it might be seen. It is of the leather slipper kind, white with an applique of cherries. And this is memory. Or so I think when I see it. It feels like something one might remember: lifted, lighted, singular. And then I turn the corner

and the whole street is thick with Japanese lilac,

freshly bloomed as they were the day

my sister died. This is that day. I had forgotten the reason for the greyness of my body though my body still turned grey. There is no guessing what will be spared or struck in memory. There is chance even in archeology. Here, the ditch-digger turns up bottles. Over there, a nest of bones.


Published in Grain Magazine, Summer 2015

Some of my poems are fictional but this isn't. My only sister Wendy, a painter, died on July 8, 2005. I was six months pregnant.


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