Gains & Losses
Deep with the First Dead
      After Dylan Thomas

Slumped.  Fur-frazzled.  A possum with its razor-
like incisors rendered harmless.  A death
like any other.  Like
robinís eggs in speckles on the steps, where Iíd kissed
David Renk.  Like headlight bent to twitching
jack-lit hart we fed to dogs
How grave the taking.  Like girdle pocked.  Fur turned out.
The bead that stopped the raid on carrot tops.
Ears that didnít hear the
season lurking.  All I know of possum-
robin-sex is borrowed death:  Its
milky eye.  Feet
as stiff

Copyright 2009,  Kathleen Hellen

Kathleen Hellenís work has appeared in Barrow StreetNatural BridgeNimrod InternationalPrairie SchoonerSouthern Poetry ReviewRattapallax,  Runes and other journals.  Awards include the Thomas Merton Prize for Poetry of the Sacred.

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