What Is Past at Ninety-One

The axe and maul and splitting of the wood;
The climbing up stone stairs above the house;
The climbing down stone stairs below the house;
The cutting of sasanqua blooms on the ridge;
The standing straightly, shoulders back and down;
The slanting path and vegetable plots;
The clacking of the big 4-harness loom.
Her solar house is gleaming in the dawn,
Half-hidden on the mountaintop, in trees,
And she, grown small, is drifting by the loom
—Dream-catcher or cat’s cradle, realm of play—
That’s lightly silted with the frailest dust
That spun and danced in sun but settled there
On fine silk threads that never will be cloth.


Marly Youmans is the author of fourteen books of poetry and fiction. Her latest poetry collection is The Book of the Red King, following the narrative of a transforming Fool, a mysterious Red King, and the ethereal Precious Wentletrap (Montreal: Phoenicia Publishing, 2019.) Her latest novel is Charis in the World of Wonders.


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