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Winter 2009, Volume 25.2

Poetry

Sunni Brown WilkinsonPhoto of Sunni Brown Wilkinson.


Born and raised in Cache Valley, Utah, Sunni Brown Wilkinson currently teaches English and writing at Weber State University and the University of Utah. She received an MFA from Eastern Washington University and has lived in the west most of her life. Her work has been published in
Red Rock Review, Tar River Poetry, Weber Studies and Southern Indiana Review, among other publications. She lives and gardens in Ogden, Utah, and loves hiking the trails there with her husband and son.

 

Saturday Again

Dark horses. The green turf of Spring.
A man caressing the ear
of an untethered mare.
I cried

while I cut red onions
for a salad. Today, ambition
is the meadowlark
calling out to itself
from the aspen stump.
The pile of compost begins
its useful rotting.

What do we know
about grace?

The pearled circuit of cars
between here and the city
straggles on. Meanwhile,
a cat dances wildly
under an oak tree, and I think
here I am, human,
and no one is stopping me.

 

Acrobats

On the television, a preacher in a black suit
is talking about grace. His face quivers
just before the tears come, and he asks
that I awaken my faith. It is always this way,
at two o’clock on channel nine. Sometimes,
hours later, I imitate his piety
in front of the mirror

and sometimes I think of the homeless man
who crossed the street for my two dollars,
the skittish horses of his eyes
unbearably ashamed.

He said something
about food stamps
being late, an apology
of sorts. I wanted to tell him
something good
but instead I held out the stiff bills
as if I were holding him
at gunpoint. I wanted to say that

we were
just two acrobats
swinging the same high-rise routine,
dancing it out on the sidewalk
for an audience of cars and lights.

 

As Annie Walks to the P.O.

The sidewalk, bent and chipped
slides back toward the sea. She carries a pen
as a compass to the blue underworld
of her voice, a tattered pad of paper
shifts in her pocket. The stones she skips
across Lake Delphi
come back to her

as rough leaves. On the second floor
of the old library a black and white movie
crackles onscreen. Cary Grant kisses
a dewy-eyed Carol Lombard, white gardenia
in her hair. Annie climbs their breaths like stairs.
To the pigeons she throws

pieces of her heart. In this two-cloud city, the flowers
sting and the bees in the park blossom.
Annie whispers to the flies
aujourd’hui terre chanson.
If there were oranges on the trees
I could eat and never die.

 

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