Today's poem is by Brendan O'Connor

Parting Shot

Don't let anyone tell you poverty
            makes you beautiful. And yet,

your poverty of landscape — horizon
            bristling with claw-and-hammer

volunteers, and folds of crust
            that interrupt a fledgling

constellation — is just that,
            hangdog and precious in a haze

of pallid moonlight: chapped eyelid
            closing on an era when nothing

would make us stay our hands. Adios
            to Earth, preteen debutante

sitting out the last dance.
            Here, feel yourself the child

who teeters on the fulcrum
            of her pelvis, stretch marks

spidering outward. Rest assured
            you will be beautiful to me

in your poverty, cooling in space,
            less compromising day by day.

When I say potential,
            I mean your inner resources,

the unschooled mind upriver
            of the falls we can hear, but can't

yet see, which might, against
            all odds, make something of itself.

Copyright © 2005 Brendan O'Connor All rights reserved
from 32 Poems
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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