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.†††††††††††
Took a wrong turn and
found yourself in gardens,
above the road and the river,
had become difficult. Growing things
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.
Archived at http://lit.konundrum.com/poetry/posms_poems.htm