The Outdoor Poet: Maggie Paul

This World

I’m tired of these small seasons, one
pressed against the other inside the parenthesis
of a sentence whose object remains a mystery.
Tired too of the ringing phone and all the doors
I must remember to close behind me.

I forget to go down to the sea, the one face
I recognize, whose wet mouth resembles
my own, and how, next to her unbuttoned
beauty, I become no one, which pleases me.

Back at the house, my garden is in upheaval.
The past creeps round trying to strangle
the future. There must be something I can do
beyond listening to the advice of strangers, that tangle
of prophecy and lie.

And yet, what would I do
without the morning deer moving over
the hill, silent as fog and moving as swiftly?
Or the sight of my daughter braiding her hair
in the half light of a sunken moon?

Today, this is all I know —
The trees are only so high, this road only so long.

About The Writer Margaret Paul is the author of Borrowed World, a collection of poems published by Hummingbird Press, and the chapbook Stones from the Basket of Others (Black Dirt Press). Her work appears in several literary journals, including Rattle, Poetry Miscellany, the Drexel University Journal and Porter Gulch Review. A college writing instructor and educational consultant, Margaret lives in Santa Cruz.

The Outdoor Poet is edited by Robert Sward, author of numerous books of poetry including, most recently, New and Selected Poems: 1957-2011 (Red Hen Press). He lives on the Westside with his wife, the artist Gloria Alford, and a poodle mix named Cosette. Participation in The Outdoor Poet is by invitation.

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