Gains & Losses
Wild Cherries

I swallowed a pit.  A burp in the pie
of cherries I’d eaten—   I spread out
the picnic blanket.  Under a star-spangled bomb
later on when I saw in the mirror:  The drupe
that was me, duck-walking.  Stuck with the hatching
I puked.  Up to me, you said.  Forming
This drain of bone.  This balled-up fist.  This
skirt that doesn’t fit.  Get rid of it— This
quick as sin.  This fatal paper gown
I chucked the skillet like a discus at your head— missed
It burns me up, I said.  A pie in the sky now a humorless
bump. A summer as reckless as seed.

Photo Credit: US Geological Survey EROS Image Gallery

Copyright 2009,  Kathleen Hellen

Kathleen Hellen’s 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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