10.3 (Spring 2006)
Top Girl
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Heather RoundsListen


Absurd Gesture

Outside, the morning seems
as alive as it deserves to be.
I lean over the sink
and watch the children of 4th street
out the window, earthworms
sticking to the soles of their feet, trying
to catch sparse raindrops in their hands.

I seek out the tiny and quick
turning of their fingers, the swallows
in the wobbling oak’s limbs,
the squirrels at the roots un-holing
the earth, and the cricket’s song arched
like a strong grin above it all.

Everything alive, everything moving in its own direction.

And then there is you and I in the kitchen,
and the heaviness of eggs in the air,
the basset asleep at your feet.
There is me glancing at your dozing face,
and the sound of me trying
to shake the stillness from your eyes.

There is the sight of me acting
the way an absurd woman might,
if she was to chat with a mannequin.


This Is a Picture

of two sets of legs, in the coppery thickets
at the edge of a lake. A floral dress
is trying to escape the frame.

There is only the illusion of the glare and bolt of sun
as it is seen in the shine of four legs.
There is only the sense of lower forces, such as those
that ground the feet to the floor of a lake.

There is no suggestion of blood colored mountain stones,
no traipsing bodies, no birds east or west, no sign
that bones are being steadied by the crooked finned trout
circling the muddy roots at the toes.

No sign of the melancholy that finds its way
into late afternoons, even on the happiest days—
splitting itself at the knees,
the sun burnt tops of feet, and onward.


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