Monday, July 11, 2005

3 Poems Heather Aimee O’Neill

"Nature’s Picks"

My sister looks down at her shirt,
pulls at the starchy print

of its new condition, trying to disguise
an emptiness, I promise her,

only she can see. She says:
The only part that developed

was a layer of protection – think
the clear part of an egg, without

the yellow yolk, and then takes
a hesitant sip of wine, the first since

the pregnancy’s discovery and its end.

"The Seventeenth Funeral"

I saw the way loss converted you,
the lines on your track rearranged,

the damage carried out and settled,
left for only you to countermand.

Grace doesn’t explain everything,
but I saw how you said Amen

at Mass and walked to and from
the grieving mothers with both sorrow

and guilt. It wasn’t you,
in your black suit and gold buttons,

that delivered their babies away,
or provided safekeeping for your own.

It wasn’t you who told each one
to go this way, to go that way.

"Night Blooming Cerise"

Fragrant flower penetrable only
in the dark, and only, I’d like

to think, for me. The past
wrangles, as if I asked,

as if I wanted to know all
the different ways she was moved.

She was moved.