It’s so fragile
anything can kill it—
one cold night,
the smoking chimney
too far off in the distance,
another drought,
everyone at the table
either drunk or estranged;
but like a fisted bud,
it rides out even the deluge
that bends bough to ground,
and so persists—sometimes unsure,
like leaves curling and uncurling
outside the staking cage,
or blind as a root-plunge
that draws sap to stem. Like blood
to a muscle, it moves inside you,
a shadow as fickle as desire is,
yet ready to embrace you
if you would just turn around.

–Cheryl Snell

This poem came to me by way of Autumn Sky Poetry, an online poetry publication.

About the author: Cheryl and her sister Janet have written over ten books of fiction, poetry, and art. Recently they won the 2008 Lopside Press Chapbook Competition for Prisoner’s Dilemma, poetry and art inspired by game theory. The two women run Scattered Light Publications, a micro press.

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