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by Barbara Daniels

Postage stamps are proof of existence:

Tripolitania, Yugoslavia, Iran. Photos


of faces are evidence—Elizabeth Bishop,

Calvin Coolidge, penguins, small dogs.


In this world of slick surfaces,

what do blue shoes prove? Songs


at bedtime? Angels in snow? That’s ugly,

my dermatologist says, tapping the mole


I thought was proof of my character. I’m not

undone. But what is this longing?


This row of imagined sons, dark hair, faces

dappled by sunshine? Now I must follow


winter’s strict regimen, snow again.

Ice. I’d rather have rain—long, slow hours


that darken and drum through the night.

I’m tired of seeming and separation,


pears parted from their blue bowl, leaves

from old oaks. Snow comes every day now,


sparkling in bare weeping cherries, covering

ground under the pear trees. Music torn


from long-ago orchestras plays all night,

almost inaudible, but evidence, yes, of endurance.

About the Author

Barbara Daniels’ Talk to the Lioness was published by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. Her poetry has recently been accepted by Permafrost, Westchester Review, Philadelphia Stories, and Coachella Review. She received four fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the most recent in 2020.

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