Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


A Calculus of Readiness

I, too, come from the city of dolls. 
A small palm is my umbrella. 
This takes care of above
but below, the blind river of sadness rolls 
on and in it, a hand is always reaching up 
to pick fish from the night-time sky.

The lines on the palm of the hand lure a trout 
with a strand of hair from the head of a doll. 
The bait is the hope for a hand on your brow. 
Shadows play on the wall. Or the face of a doll. 
The plants eyeing each other
is all.

I would not call the stars generous.
They don't cry enough for dolls to play Drink Me. 
They don't cast a covenant's fishy rainbow 
yet leaf faces watch the open window 
where they hang far and hard.
The rein of starlight a second hand

with which to play Go Fish.
Now Give me a hand, plants. Now give me 
good-night, stars.

Credit


From A Point Is That Which Has No Part by Liz Waldner, published by University of Iowa Press. Copyright © 2000 by Liz Waldner. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Author


Liz Waldner

Poet Liz Waldner won the 2000 James Laughlin Award.

Date Published: 2000-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/calculus-readiness