Skip to content →


At your death, mother, the death ornaments

appeared, the held, kicked attendants,

tiny sparrow-dove splayed outside

on the floor, the cracked wing working,

the mystery girl

at the room’s edge lofted in smoke

along with your mother in torn sepia, who

hid in your grudge-crowded bed.

How you did strive, then,

to kiss what was left of me

when it came to you,

and how you said so evenly,

“Now, don’t cry,” looking down,

bound for a minute in my own hands,

paler but set in your ways.

from Inside Spiders

Copyright © Persea Books 2013
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Published in Leslie Shinn 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.