shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Joan Saunders

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The Pleading

(The last morning after the Frost Place Poetry Festival)

After flat black, night breaks –
limbs stretch in a bed not mine for the last time.
The refrigerator coils in the corner
slow breathing – a two-note pulsing
of the fan overhead – muffled
sounds from behind the wall –
an obsessive sense of awareness
invades, incarcerates.

Frost, Dickinson, Hardy – all of them
and all of now, rampage through my brain.
Words, order of words, the benign meaning
or malignant consequence – cause and effect.
Lines form and break, colliding
with here and now and tomorrow.
Waiting for her – my fickle muse
to bring her soothing little cup to my mouth.