He is rid away to the tenant farms and I take up my pen to list the shakings-out and openings. And my thin letters lean as sails that, though driven, cannot arrive. May the ninth, I write. And: Mrs. Ferguson. Unbutton the bed pillows and plump them to the air. Then: Take the curtains down and with your broom unseat the spiders' webs. Open the windows and leave them wide and here the thread trails off, among the cottages with their spring festoons of eggs pricked with pins and blown, fragile as the blacksmith's daughter dreaming in the sun, who lifts her skirts above her white knees. I pull back behind a hedge. Let her not meet me, with my dry pen.
From Desire Lines: New and Selected Poems by Lola Haskins, published by Story Line Press. © 2001 by Lola Haskins. Reprinted with permission of the author and Story Line Press. All rights reserved.