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Villanelle with Violin

I was so small, so very much afraid.
I prayed my father might turn into light.
There was no price that I would not have paid

to pray the way the light knelt down and prayed.
I prayed that I might learn to be like light,
but I was small, and very much afraid,

and he stayed silent. Was I badly made?
His violin made sound turn into light,
and there’s no price that I would not have paid

to hear him play Thais each night. He made
it sound as though the bow was made of light.
Still I was small, and very much afraid

when he got mad and broke the things he’d made.
He tried and tried so hard to do things right,  
and there’s no price that he would not have paid

to sit with me at dusk and watch light fade.
Both of us were made from that same light,
And there’s no price we two would not have paid—
we who were small and very much afraid.

Copyright © 2016 by Marilyn Krysl. Originally published in December in 2016. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2016 by Marilyn Krysl. Originally published in December in 2016. Used with permission of the author.

Marilyn Krysl

by this poet

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It’s no use walking the beasts of my longing without you, compañero,
you whose name means stone the sun

moves across. Remember our house, and the statuary of clouds
drifting through the rooms? And the sheets and blankets of our habits

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Scent of Plumeria, and the smell of burning.
Not one or the other, but both. Destruction, and the blossom.
Sweetheart, I'm afraid. That boy with the rifle breaks
the catechism in two. And in two. Let me
see us whole, beside the sea. My body
busy, paying

poem
Looking back now, I see 
I was dispassionate too often, 
dismissing the robin as common, 
and now can't remember what 
robin song sounds like. I hoarded
my days, as though to keep them 
safe from depletion, and meantime 
I kept busy being lonely. This 
took up the bulk of my time, 
and I did not speak to