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Monday, June 16, 2008


by Joannie Kervran Stangeland

It had been going all along,
flowing out of pipes and spigots
into sinks and showers, irrigation ditches,
soaking the lawns, the dandelions.

Hoses trickled to a drip.
Grass dried, and then the dirt.
Dishes piled up on the counter,
laundry heaped up on the floors.
The glasses were full of only air.
We drank the air, bought paper plates.

The news printed debates
by leading experts in their fields:
We were healthy, we were dying,
we were melting.

We woke up and saw the sun
on the curtains, on the oranges,
in a square that the cat sprawled across.
Our mouths felt dry as dirt
and we forgot about any headlines
from the capital city.

Joannie Kervran Stangeland’s work has most recently appeared in Journal of the American Medical Association and Pontoon. Her first chapbook, A Steady Longing for Flight, won the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award. Her second chapbook, Weathered Steps, was published by Rose Alley Press.