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Allison Thorpe

Allison Thorpe is the author of several collections of poetry, the latest being Reckless Pilgrims (Broadstone Books). She has published widely in such journals as Still:The Journal, Appalachian Review, Stonecoast Review, Pleiades, Hamilton Stone Review, Gingerbread House, and So To Speak. Her work has appeared in various anthologies and been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes. She now works as a writing consultant in Lexington, KY.

A Destiny of Geese

I’m not a woman who chops
wood and enjoys it, hefting ax
over my head, wind huffing ear
with the powered downward arc,
the concluding crack that cleaves
the heart of hickory,
walnut’s sweet earthy rise,
the Christmas pitch of pine.

Rather, I’m a woman who loves
to stare into the sky
as if it were an oracle.
I rest my ax against the barn door,
bed the grass in this idle divination,
pillow my flannel shirt and shut my eyes,
letting the fortunes of blue wander.

I hear the geese long before
I spot their wobbled vee,
joyously honking their prophecies
like a seasonal Nostradamus.
Time to hit the road, Jack.
Time to get to work.
No time to waste.

I put my shirt back on,
brush dirt from daydream,
oil and hang the tools to shed,
stack the split chunks.
The sun brags its colors;
clouds darken like tea leaves.

Sunday Morning

The bells wake me | toll their deep invitation | to a party I have long abandoned | like
geometry or poodle skirts | I contemplate the ringing music | as one would | a gold-
lettered request | propped up on the hall table | like a feeling I wanted to be | when I grew
up | the echoed peal | conjures hard-gleamed wooden pews | uncomfortable as a whale
bone corset | the repenting of sins | did I ever regret them | smoking in the school
bathroom | nestling Phitty Marshall in the back seat of his father’s Plymouth | leaving my
mother in the rear view mirror | rationalization is a wondrous invention | my years slowly
lost their transgressions | evenings host a litany of red wine | the grace of a good book | a
stationary bicycle my prayer wheel | bread thrown to the birds | a lauding supplication |
please tell my mother I’m sorry | my journey was never hers | no vow of bended knee and
apron | happy now just to be a knobbly goddess sporting purple feathers | my tithe a torn
pocket linty with stardust
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