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is my heart. A stranger

berry there never was,


Gone sour in the sun,

in the sunroom or moonroof,


No poetry. Plain. No

fresh, special recipe

to bless.

All I’ve ever made

with these hands

and life, less

substance, more rind.

Mostly rim and trim,


but making much smoke

in the old smokehouse,

no less.

Fatted from the day,

overripe and even

toxic at eve. Nonetheless,

in the end, if you must

know, if I must bend,


to that excruciation.

No marvel, no harvest

left me speechless,

yet I find myself

somehow with heart,


With heart,

fighting fire with fire,


That loud hub of us,

meat stub of us, beating us


Spectacular in its way,

its way of not seeing,

congealing dayless

but in everydayness.

In that hopeful haunting

(a lesser

way of saying

in darkness) there is


for the pressing question.

Heart, what art you?

War, star, part? Or less:

playing a part, staying apart

from the one who loves,


from Our AndromedaFind it in the library

Copyright © 2012 Brenda Shaughnessy
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Brenda Shaughnessy Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.