Poem for August 10

August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment


Voice is a give-away, the manner
in which it determines speech;
in handwriting, the slope of the i‘s and l‘s;
the palm of the hand shows three children,
a long life; the way she walks, stiff from the groin.

Even a cell, they say, homunculus, a ship’s manifest.

Against all this, the windy thoughts, the will
choosing in space — airy parabola, choosing
in time — an hour to meet, choosing in density —

I will study all winter.
According to the papers, swaddling’s back:
a blanket tight around the infant body allows
minimum movement for the arms, hands free, the head
gently constrained but able to rotate forty-five


-Edith A. Jenkins, from Divisions on a Ground (Lapis Press, 1986)

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