Summer 2008 • Vol. XXX No. 3 Poetry |

Her Favorite Book

1. It smelled of Red Astrachan apples and rust It smelled of library, the long untethered afternoons It made, like any book, a door She gripped it as its red skin puckered from its spine, she cradled it, the gold           stamping on its boards defaced          by her attentions 2. Big light blistered through the cunning trees—magnolia, white ash, Carolina silverbell with sawtoothed leaves Sharp electric smells of severed grasses mixed   with smells of watered dust, of dusted rain   Little balled-up fists of rain   hanging in the highest leaves Hush-a-bye babes, don't you cry   she sing-songed to herself, a practice mother   trying on a kindness   like a Sunday dress 3. It smelled of care and chloroform and suffering It smelled of pain and battle and the cries of wounded soldiers bleeding in Antietam mud or freezing in the drifts at Fredericksburg,                

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