The 2River View 27.3 (Spring 2023)

Priscilla Frake

Something is Busy

Something is busy.
Whenever nothing approaches,

it doesn’t notice
at first. It doesn’t pay any mind

until it has to,
until nothing arrives

by post or accident,
on time or on a train.

Un-looked for, uninvited,     
un-hoped for, nothing comes.

It hurries along the road. It flows
like cold over the sill

of the door. It pauses
on the stair, then

comes into the room where something
is polishing the silver.

The day folds into a deeper,
more beautiful blue.

The first few stars arrive
as nothing steps forward

and something can choose to defend,
explain, wheedle—the usual rant—

or consent to meet nothing’s
reproachful & expectant gaze.

Something & Something & Something

Every day it’s something.
A barge ferrying cargo
port to port. Something
charted, something fathomed,
tacking sounded contours
near the shore. Something:
the life that is reflected
on the water: wavering,
anxious, silver, upside
down. Nothing,

when it comes,
cannot be spoken.
It is too—
too. Something
is more reasonable
but who can keep track
of it plying its chores?—
doing the dishes, taking
a shower, raising children,
quietly losing the fight against
rust and barnacles. Something
grows weary, longs to think
of nothing and to sink
but fears riptide, hidden currents,
the rush and silken terror of the plunge.

Priscilla Frake is the author of Correspondence, a book of epistolary poems.  She has work in Carbon Culture Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Nimrod, Verse Daily, Spoon River Poetry Review, among others. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she is a studio jeweler.

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