By Katherine Soniat
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Additional resources for A shared life: poems
All of us loose in a summer of rainwater. Such poignancy vanished in the corn heat. I cross the doorsill for shade, wind the clock, Page 16 each tick setting aside the moist familiarity of offspring. I've tried to give you the scent, and you ask why I look at you like this. Page 17 Desire An April bear plunges spray from the watercress stream hunger, the first awakening of any. His yellow teeth open, flash with it, and the seasons pass away. Finally, it was all like being hungry, and afterwards, the winter sleep.
And it magnifies in the eyes of those no longer young as they take on heavy faces the slow, puckering thread of age stitching loosely across the mirror. Once it hung in a crystal charm, this secret about nothing, and at its center my children's faces turned to old men's, and old men's back to boys'. I play checkers, crowning nothing. We sentenced ourselves to the conditional, and I began sucking on air thinning to sweetness at the core. By the window screen a book blows open to one blank page, then another.
This is the roadway that winds to the white hallway where the hands on one man hold the hands of another to the hands of a clock. Page 36 A Square in Mozambique These are the children that no one went looking for. Remember me. This is the village square used for reunions of the lost, where every look of recognition is rewarded with a kit: clothes, food, a hoe, and a bag of seed. A dowry to grow human on, or perhaps even to grow into the clerk or driver that young Moneeka says he wants one day to be.