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Bereaved Lady Meditates by Helen Shanley

Bereaved Lady Meditates by Helen Shanley

In the center where nothing pulls her apart
she lets go of chicken-fat indecisions;
like Baudelaire dreaming the smokestacks of Paris
she no longer flinches at her fate.

Through dreams astound with their cryptic knowledge
of details from her daytime world
they keep their own world mostly hidden,
then expect her to know what she cannot know.

Hearing the well water’s bell-like tones
that slow her heart from excited to merry,
she feels its laughter fill her bones;
her skin lies bare to the festive night.

Her brain can learn what her womb has not;
that he in his grave will not return
(and even when alive was not
quite the one she thought he was).

The point remains: he was; she is;
she cannot conjugate the rest,
but hopes to teach herself to want
life that isn’t what she wants.

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