Saturday, August 2, 2014

Sara Clancy- Three Poems


I'm a sucker for a cold reading. You lay out the tarot
deck in an optimistic array and we can both gown
the coincidence in the finer details. Go ahead

and throw the coins as well. We will read the passages
like poems to a credulous editor. Each hexagram
a sestina verse arranged to illuminate the mysterious

ordinary. Or bring on the medium. She is sensing loss
in the room, someone whose name begins with S.
There might be ring or an antique keepsake.

Does this mean anything? She is clearly in contact
with (she asks if I've lost my mother and corrects herself) grandmother!

who wants me to know I am forgiven
my spurious pastime. Who wants to remind me to be kind
to the living and that I should go study.


You must name the visible flowers
in this game. Herbs and an incantation,
Valeria Root, Milk Thistle, Cat's Claw and Common
Rue. The dried pod of one, the stem of another,
your country inheritance, inverted and hanging
from the wormwood beam of unproven relief.

It's a fairytale antidote. A lucky conjecture
that shocks the manual with its witchy efficacy.
Snakeroot for nausea, Cider Vinegar and Sea Fennel.
A concoction of chancy acumen, a last ditch
elixir when fur falls out by the handful.

Lemongrass for mange. Neem oil for mites.
Sandalwood and Soapwort.
Single blind

An Early Haunting

I can see the ancient stone wall that borders
the meadow behind the nursing home
right through him, now. He is translucent

with expectation and we both know it.
I remember when we laughed at this prospect
and know that soon he will sit at the cafeteria

table with every color in his cup, but grief.
He gets no comfort from the doctrine of the field
behind him and used to joke that we were as likely

to worship in the language of his pet parrots
as the metaphysics of fossil or folded rock. I will not trouble
him with the conventions of other people's magic.

He barely understands me now and I see both our ghosts
in his flimsy recognition. So I tell myself
again and again, I will find you.

Sara Clancy a Philadelphia transplant to the Desert Southwest. Her poems have appeared, or are forthcoming in The Linnet's Wings, Crab Creek Review, The Madison Review, Antiphon, Verse Wisconsin, Turtle Island Quarterly, VAYAVYA and Houseboat, where she was a featured poet. She lives in Arizona with her husband, their dog and a 23 year old goldfish named Darryl.

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