Today's poem is by Leslie Harrison

How it Started

At the point you start throwing pebbles
at large bodies of water, you have suffered
an error of judgment.

Marriage kept sending me back.
To the river. The edge of it. Sometimes hemmed
in shards of ice, sometimes rock.
The water was cold and pushed
at the shore. At the house I kept
setting the table. Knives for the dominant
hand, his grandmother's plates
in the middle of everything.

Despite the cold, the lack
of encouragement, several leaves
persisted on the box elder.

In the attic I found a mouse—spine snapped
in a trap, flesh faded to a faint smell
at the very edge of things. Loosed
from the broken body—a fine
rice of white infant skulls.

When he found the limp
indigo bundle of a bird on his plate,
I blamed the cat.

When I told him about the mouse
he reset the trap.

Copyright © 2009 Leslie Harrison All rights reserved
from Barn Owl Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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