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Dead Poets

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Poetry By
  Dawn Flora Cadwell

Published on: 2/11/2011
Laying Up Summer

Summer is a line-dried bed sheet
snapped taut between two sturdy nanas.
    Corner to corner
        (peach juice and freeze tag)
    Selvedge to fold
        (sparklers and sugar ants)

The nanas step together. Over the corn
thunder clacks like steelies
colliding in a packed dirt circle.
    Sheet, color of cloud edges,
    surrender the breeze,
    you are complicit in this act.

In the held-breath of autumn,
the nanas' fingers meet, knot
and loose this very night's benediction,
bright as a firefly, reliable as a comet.

Published on: 2/11/2011
This is a new recording

You've reached 555-8346. I'm not in today.
I've ditched my job,
steady as a too-kind boyfriend.
Today, I am an astronaut.
I have thumbed a daydream to Houston,
where I will be
the problem. A word worker with stars
on her retina, ninth grade math
on her resume.

For contact,
leave a series of primes at the tone.

If you are my expected houseguests,
mi casa es su casa, as in
mi unmade bed
es su unmade bed.
The milk is quite nearly old.
The cat will sleep on your forehead.
Over. Out.

Published on: 2/11/2011
Descending From Royalty

The old man's hands split lips
in the ring, heads
in labor strikes, hardwood
in South Dakota.
Through palms size of dinner plates
fist-heart pumps blue blood of Charlemagne
and workingman red.

I unfold Europe on the kitchen table.
"So, this was once ours, Granddad?"
He spans the Frankish kingdom
with a splay of fingers and laughs,

"Twelve hundred years
is a long time to go
without a bastard in the family."

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