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The Temple of Many Hands by Christopher Locke < back  : index  :  next >   

W i t h o l d i n g

In cooking class, a student asked
how many lemons were needed
for lemon meringue pie. And as I
figured the number in my head,
I thought how a doctor referred
to a growth inside my wife as
lemon-like, maybe bigger,
and then the brave silence my wife
registered on the long drive
home, the way she dutifully
went to the crumpled laundry
and began sorting piles as the last
razor wire of daylight pulled from
a blue jay scolding atop a pine.
And later that night, as I reached
out to her, the magnificent withholding
of herself was locked away
from our boat-like rhythm, all
our lost chances escaping us,
expelled in the air with our cries.


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