11.3 (Spring 2007)   The 2River View  

Deborah Mayhew



I have used anything but bookmarks for bookmarks,
gym schedules, store receipts, candy wrappers, junk mail.
Real bookmarks are too fancy,
especially those that look like endangered animals.
Their orphaned eyes stare at me from shelves and counters,
begging me to take them home,
tuck them in a good book and read them a bedtime story.
A humpback whale chants “The Seafarer” in Old English.
A greater bamboo lemur sits on my shoulder while Atlanta burns,
while a lion tamarin falls asleep in The Jungle Book.
A sharp shinned hawk chases a flying carpet,
bringing back forty thieves
who steal all the words from my books
so that by morning there is nothing left
but a koala bear in a eucalyptus tree
munching on leaves.


Crying Wolf

She has disappeared again,
and nobody will believe it.
Somebody just saw her an hour ago
on a bus, a train, a subway.
A man claimed that she was at the coffee shop
sipping herbal tea and eating a pastry.
Others saw her at a concert, a book signing, a play.
People see her in the faces of strangers,
in the blurriness of early morning daydreams,
in mid-afternoon, running after a lost dog,
one hand on the leash, another reaching out,
beckoning to no one in particular.

The first time she disappeared
the FBI found her face on a security tape,
and her handwriting on the ransom note.
She confessed, paid a fine,
and then vanished into the crowd.
Now nobody is ever quite sure
if the woman they see is her,
or if she has disappeared again,
and this time she is really gone.




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