PENELOPE by Ann

Penelope

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ON THE WAY TO ETES-VOUS PRETS

I am afraid to look up
so I look in.

If I look up
I won’t be monitoring my feet.
I might fall on my
recently broken hand.

So I look in
and I can feel this day.
Sun wonderful,
frost-kissed.

When I broke this hand
the doctor said
she’d open it up and put in
a plate with four little screws.
“Not in this body,” I replied.
“Can’t you fix it the old-fashioned way
and give me a heavy, clumsy cast?”

I might be crooked from now on.
I don’t know.
Stubbornness has its risks.

I will look up
at the end of the block,
and see a whole sky.
Sun wonderful,
frost-kissed.

And I will see Etes-Vous Prets,
the coffee shop,
and its representatives of humanity.
How many of them are surviving
their own risks?

MY KITCHEN HAS THE SUN

My kitchen has the sun in winter.
Plants that wouldn’t grow
in here in July
lift their whole selves
to look out on the snow.
Chives and peppers, parsley.
Only the dead-of-winter sun
can make my mustard green.

Bluejays and sparrows look in.
They remember leaves.