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All Along

The first look was invigorating–  
A reservoir of lace burgeoning off a needle.  
Pieces of it I saved for a few days  

Or else, I’ve thrown it away entirely.  
Time was, I would have built  
A ship and sailed it (had I known how) back  

To search for something  
In the soil of what home,  
Severed hair  

Clings to the shoulders
Before falling to the floor.
This place

Its reason, no reason any longer. 
Leaving, I would miss the cool fire
Dying in this kiln.

Here I know where everything is found.
Places open and shut enough.
The town changes all around

And becomes more and more like everywhere
Apropos of this
A snapdragon snapped

Stem weighted by head,
Do you see it turns velvet
With age?

The broken bit may be placed in water
For buoyancy.
Trusting here, trusting this,

I’ve set my head on the hat stand
Choosing instead to lie down
In the heart’s granary.

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“All Along” originally appeared as part of a collection in Instinct: Poems

published by Bright Hill Press.

Available at ABE books.

“Local Pond” is a digital painting by the author, Joanna Straughn

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