The Empty Galvanized Metal Tub Considers Preceding
after Preceding, by Amy Cutler (USA) 2004
This is an unnatural state of being. I’m to be
for gathering or washing, filled with something – apples
or soapy water. Not just hauled alongside, banging against
thigh and ankle. Where to? Wherefore? How long
the journey? And with no cheery song sung to quicken
the hours and task – this proceeding into a blank landscape
suggestive of the same substance nearly all the other buckets
carry. Substance formed, and with a carrot stuck there
and two pieces of coal, or like. Or none. No mouth
to speak of. No say. It’s a sad day when a tub feels
such, feels superfluous. I long for the warm kitchen
or orchard come gathering. To do.
The Elephant Grows Weary of This Particular Passage
after Passage, by Amy Cutler (USA) 2005
We look as if we are going somewhere, as if
I am taking them somewhere with the necessary
accoutrements, and more than. The bundles of dresses
and the many bags and the stick. Three flattened
by the weight of, just as I totter with the weight of. This
burden that peels my hide. That bends my back leg and stunts
the growth of my tusks. A camel would understand.
And a horse. Though neither ever carried quite as much
as I. Beast of burden with no bells and fringe, no bright
color of my own. Beast of fleeing. And yet, I am tied
to the tops of trees and the trees stand rooted
in the ground. And we only get so far.
The One Birch Tree Pleads for Mercy in Cake Toss
after Cake Toss, by Amy Cutler (USA) 2004
They lie in wait. Still
as statues, that recess game. Hiding behind
my fellow birches tall and clean. That cannot
up and run but only bend ever so slightly and only
the upper half – that tussock of green. So alike we are, I
wonder why me. Why me with the house upended, dropped
as if from tornado and all the many, many cakes piled
at my base. As if offerings, but of anger. Rage. The wedding
confection smeared on the groom’s face and the sweet kiss
after not as sweet as thought. Have mercy. For the tree
that only grew to reach the sunlight, to serve as complement
to the blue, blue sky.
Kelly R. Samuels
Kelly R. Samuels is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of two chapbooks: Words Some of Us Rarely Use (Unsolicited) and Zeena/Zenobia Speaks (Finishing Line). Her poems have appeared in Salt Hill, The Carolina Quarterly, The Pinch, RHINO, and The Rupture. She lives in the Upper Midwest. Find her here: https://www.krsamuels.com/
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