Miracle

Thank you, Lynne Burnette, for the way your “Miracle” has nourished my heart today.

Lynne Burnett

worm-2934958_1280

Is it a miracle
that I found the worm in time—
having gone into my den much earlier
than usual, to turn the computer on—
and saw the dark, exhausted thread of its
body lying in the middle of a desert
of beige carpet, picked it up, barely moist, and
laid it outside on the wet grass, and watched
until it finally waved goodbye at one end,
easing itself into the darkness it knows?

Or is the miracle
that the annelid slid
through sealed doors and windows
to get inside my house in the first place,
that it became a finger pointing
from the Buddha’s hand,
laying at my feet its five paired hearts
and the power of intervention—
of life continued
or of death without comment?

Is there a day without its miracle,
for doesn’t one follow the other
because of a vast accordion of worms
playing now the…

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Despair

bedroomdespair

They creep along the crease where plaster’s link
with geometric     terra cotta inlays
slips beyond the statutory pane’s oblique
illumination         Squalor’s dreg-lined byways

evince these shadows’ huddled histories
of furtive ventures through the crevices
where nights yield to darkening that sullies
the dark     & dank     spore-stippled surfaces

despair the light of noon to bare their scourge
No teakwood bed     nor wicker chair     will mask
depravity     as Geishas deftly forge
refinements to obscure the blights of dusk

What’s bent by vice yet breaks for dearth of rest
& makes its bed with vermin as needs must

STEPHANIE L. HARPER