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Fallen

  A friend had a Minnesota catalogue company

send me plant-them-yourself dahlias by mail.

The tubers nested in a rumpled mess of shredded paper.

One strip, caught deep in a root’s cleavage

resisted, wouldn’t come out. I pulled carefully

at the white paper, reading its truncated sentence:

. . . enclosed manuscript for your Poetry Prize. I hope . . .

  I remembered those publishers’ guidelines:

we will recycle those manuscripts not selected,

in a manner that will maintain the writers’ privacy.

Shredded, they sent the mess to nurseries, to protect

other bundles from being mishandled, torn. It took me

three hours to separate the fragments of that specific

font and paper from the other strips. I saved seven lines.

  So this poem is for you—the one who wrote:

blossom twigs in a glass jar by the bed and God of the hinge,

potential or fallen: it’s that time of doubt again.

I want you to know I love that line, its surrendering tone,

its rhythm—and pinned it to my wall. In Autumn,

when my first red dahlia blooms, I’ll put it

in a glass jar, and place it under the word fallen.

from The Hour Between Dog & WolfFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 1997
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Laure-Anne Bosselaar Poems

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