2011 – Rochelle Jewel Shapiro – Every Day We Can Take…

Poetry selection from the 2011 issue

Every Day We Can Take Into Our Vision
by Rochelle Jewel Shapiro

What if Rilke had come across the scarecrow
in this garden, a garden devoid of corn, tomatoes,
flowers, even grass seed? A garden with a fallen tree
across its front lawn, a no-trespassing sign hung
from a rope between the elm with its storm-hacked
limbs and the peeling red house?
Would the butterfly flitting over the ruined hedges
be a sign to him of the world we can’t see?
Or would it be the scarecrow or that fallen tree
that we kneel before when the filament
between beauty and terror snaps?

Step from the stark sunlight into the shadow,
watch your silhouette disappear
from the cracked sidewalk,
listen to the cicada’s insistent zizzle,
the sparrows’ skauk, skauk.

The shades of the house are all drawn.
In a room of my childhood, my dead
father sits at the kitchen table,
sipping a glass of tea, a sugar cube
held between his teeth.

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