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Today's poem is by Ethna McKiernan

At This Moment

And if I have nothing to say
and all the words inside my brain
are hollowed out, scraped clean, gone,
then let nothingness stream forth
in rows of blazing zeroes.
Let emptiness be the still lake it is
where I coast in my small boat
fishing for the thing I cannot find,
the lake where stones travel
searching lifetimes for the bottom.
Let silence come like animals
in the dark mountain night,
watchful yet unafraid, licking my body
with tenderness the way a mother bear
licks her cubs, less to clean them
than to give them strength.
Let the absent words dissolve
before they're formed
and the fret and strain of pulling
one sentence toward the next
slacken, until all that's left
is something wild and musical,
one note without speech.



Copyright © 2002 Ethna McKiernan All rights reserved
from The One Who Swears You Can't Start Over
Salmon Poetry / Dufour Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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