Tuesday, January 15, 2019

White Circle

 A piece of chalk
to mark the path
between the pickup truck
and the porch steps,
to measure the distance
from the porch steps
to the straw mat

The wedding guests
wipe their shoes

Heavy lace curtains
A single bare nail driven
into the plaster

Dust on the floor too fine
for the corn broom to catch
Water burbling on the stove

Run your hand along
the smooth, solid bannister
Upstairs flutter of paper
The fathers bicker
as is their ritual

The bride’s thick braid
hangs between the parted blades
of a pair of garden shears
It hangs there a long time

A pail of very cold water
An empty clothesline
The guests shuffle their feet
Cough quietly into their clean sleeves

The chickens scratch in the dirt by the fence
clucking their incessant questions
The ax head buried deep in the block
has only one word with which
to answer them

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