Today's poem is by Lightsey Darst

Young Helen

                          impossible to remove & therefore remaining forever

                          Such a small fate for the one who waits in the hall,
the one who strains against the needling voice of the record,
whose thin shadow caresses
a yellow wall, the one

You will be someone's tragic summer, lovesick
moan as the screen door slams again and June bugs
strike it with confused ardor.

Your mother, your sister
leave them on the bed, your gifts—
satin armor & a quiver of swansdown arrows.
They tell you your history: how you burst
from the golden egg, how beautiful you were and will be.

What do they want of you?

Such a small time, the present,
              where the dark pool waits under the battleship sky,
              where the lily is not blooming yet but will,
              where the ice cream truck chimes in the vanishing distance,

someone's daughter running penniless alongside.

Copyright © 2009 Lightsey Darst All rights reserved
from Find the Girl
Coffee House Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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