Summer 2012 • Vol. XXXIV No. 3 Poetry |

Ledger

It is a small life. Opening again morning's louvered box, compass points of dew, mockingbird's rote sampling from the hemlock. The dogs bowing and circling, pawing the dust motes. Resolve and remorse dress in identical clothes, then are gone before I smooth the quilts. Like the old friend I'd embraced in a dream—how he vanished in my arms, collapsed into dark folds of fabric. There are lists, there are replies. The same cupboard doors. Walking the dogs after a storm, I found a bird's nest in the street. A straw bowl, densely woven. Nothing to rescue, yet I carried it home.

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Debra Allbery’s most recent collection, Fimbul-Winter (Four Way, 2010) won the Grub Street National Book Prize in poetry. She directs the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina.

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