Wednesday, near sunset
Sybil waited on the porch.
She always had bangs that fell over her eyes
Both the color of amber with matching freckles.
In the light, she was golden all over.
“Do you believe in poetry?” she asked.
Dapper smoke sizzled off her cigarette.
She stared into space as her lungs shriveled
Like the plums on her special tree,
Each pitted and black with hailstone rot.
A squirrel, as golden and sleek as Sybil herself,
Sniffed at the roots.
Sybil has nimble hands
Always full of rings.
She dropped the cigarette,
And lifted her bow in the same sweep.
Squirrel slumped halfway up the trunk,
Another rotten fruit on a feathered branch.
A dark splatter of blood curled in the gnarled bark.
“Look,” she pointed
“There’s no poetry in death.
It’s swift and dirty.
Life is no better.
The only place for poetry is in the space between them
When the arrow hangs in the air
Slowed to a pace and you can look it in the eye
Right before it hits you
And the lights go out.”