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Poetry By
  Emily Whitby

Published on: 8/1/2005
Untitled, For Now

You were conceived on a Monday
in March
when the cobalt sky was hard
as a shell over still-white mountains,
and a little girl in a lemon-yellow hood
flung her arms into the air
and said
I'm throwing leaves into the sky!
as I passed.

I knew then
that we must give you passage
breathe into you watery life
pave for you the bright road
into a dark and cynical world,
if only to let you stand
in a lemon-yellow hood
in March
and cast sodden leaves
into a cobalt sky.

Published on: 7/27/2005
Unsent Letter 7

You lean over your cup of bitter Indian chai.
"Sometimes Michael drinks too much," you say
as I sip; the hot dark liquid catches in my throat.
Laughing, you pass the sugar.

I realize, seeing you, that I've kept you, the past three years;
kept everyone, in fact. I've hung you all up like newspaper
clippings, a candle-lit shrine in my memory

and there you've stayed, unchanging. Time changes;
you think I'm naive, but I've learned that, at least.

Yet you are the same: your hair a little
blonder, breasts a little larger
(I never could compete with that, you know),
as you lean over your dark, bitter cup.

Troy is living in D.C., you tell me. Neil is
married, divorced, and married again;
Natalie's sister committed suicide. But you are still
Wendy-bird, grown old too soon from too much
baby-sitting at the bar; a little Mormon girl married
to an older Catholic man while your families looked the
other way. You are the same, and watching you now, I know

you still dance as though you knew how to fly.
You are the same, and though the hot dark tea will
burn my throat as I tip my cup,
you will spoon sweet honey into yours, and
stir and stir and stir.

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