Valley

 

I knew how to lift your leg over the edge

of the old well. Then we would sit on the edge

 

listening to the quarry break and shiver.

Hoopoes everywhere.Not yet on the edge

 

of grief, not yet orphaned. The bottom holds for us

only thirst and flower. Years later at the edge

 

of knowing: a great hole. At our feet a snake,

cold and harmless, beneath us, at the earthís edge.†††††††††††

 

†††††††††††

*

 

Horticulture

 

Took a wrong turn and

found yourself in gardens,

above the road and the river,

walled-in. Transportation

had become difficult. Growing things

anathema,

as in a desert.

 

Where did the foliage

rustle and thin

so that all you had left

in your hand was your hand,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† a growing thing?

 

How did your fingers

feel in the soil.

How did you find

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† your way to the road.

What rope would you use

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† to hang yourself.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Sisal, baobab, tall grass.

 

 

*

 

Tracking the Cat

 

Itís easy to lose myself

After one or two nights of good sleep. Having looked

All day for a lion where none are. Having thrown away

The pills. Having killed a scrap-hare, and known it;

As I know I will never lose part of my body

To this bush, not end up tread-marked and crawling

Toward home. And living with the thought of it

There on the road, because I could not turn back.

 

 

 

**

Sonya B. Posmentier lives in New York City, where she is an English teacher and Director of Multicultural Affairs at Trinity School. She is the recipient of a 2003 Brio Award from the Bronx Council on the Arts, and her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from Hanging Loose, Phoebe, Seneca Review and Lyric.

 

 

 

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