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Today's poem is by Joannie Kervran Stangeland

Sustenance

Three tomatoes perch on the sill
in autumn window light
but when she sleeps,
she returns to the vines
to find fruit everywhere,
all at once revealed by ripeness.

Some are swelled to bursting,
their smooth tops ruptured.
She fills her arms, her shirt
with sanguine harvest
garnered from crumpled branches,
even as her blood leaves her,
a canvas bleached and blank.
She fears her insides slipping free.

The sky is heavy as a promise.
The wind says hurry,
rattles the yellow stars
of blooms too late for bees or yield.

She does not know how to carry
that mangled lushness,
what to throw away, to keep.



Copyright © 2002 Joannie Kervran Stangeland All rights reserved
from Crab Creek Review, Spring/Summer 2002
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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