The girl in the foreground is mute
as the gray stump of house behind her.
Something pushes out from behind her face,
enlarges her ears, expands her head.
Her hat no longer fits. It lies
discarded on the lawn, red ribbon trailing.
Her parents have not moved for an hour.
The mother is sheathed in black,
the father in Sunday best.
The cat near the pram is not a cat at all,
it is a stone. Nor is the sheep alive.
It must have wandered into the yard
and froze. Nothing moves here,
though the girl may try. The hill
beneath her feet is a gripped fist.
This poem was first published by FutureCycle Press in Lawrence Kessenich's book, Before Whose Glory, 2013.
Lawrence Kessenich won the 2010 Strokestown International Poetry prize and has had three poems nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has appeared in the Sewanee Review, Atlanta Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and many other magazines. He has published four books of poetry and is the co-managing editor of Ibbetson Street. He had an essay featured on NPR’s “This I Believe” and in the anthology This I Believe: On Love. His plays have been produced in New York, Boston, and in Colorado, where he won an award in a national drama competition. His first novel, Cinnamon Girl, was published in September 2016. Learn more about his work at lawrence-writer.com.
The Ekphrastic Review
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