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Rites of Spring


Waking up slowly,
I see visions.
Young wisteria branches
yearn upward like sea plants
seeking the light.

This is my life:
finding one thing in another.


The May rain dripped off the tender leaves
Of the apple tree just budding white
And glistened on the thin needles
Of the clipped yew hedge
Planted next to the railing
Of the stairs leading to the bathroom
Outside the Red Rooster
Where, late at night,
A robin surprised us
Hurtling out of the hedge
And perching on the tree.

Meaning to misguide us,
It led us straight to the nest
Fastened securely
To intersecting branches
In a cunning nook
Just inside the hedge,
The hard smooth surface
Of its hollowed-out hemisphere
Enclosing three eggs,
Small and perfectly formed,
The color of heaven.

The Story of My Life

I tried to write the story of my life
Without knowing what it was.
Its truth grew inside me gradually
Like my own child
That I had to give birth to
To know.

The first night I dreamed
We left our river-view apartment
For a smaller place
In a better building.
Dark and enclosed,
It faced inward,
And I was unhappy.

The second night I dreamed
We lived in a house underwater
And a shark broke through,
Nosing its way in
Under the glass wall.
It faced me head-on,
Its teeth were terrible,
And with it came the sea.

But you pulled it back by the tail.
Singlehandedly, you forced it
Out of the house
And resealed the wall,
Keeping out the rushing water.

Still we knew
The shark would try again,
And we must keep watch.


Copyright © 2009 Anne Whitehouse

Anne Whitehouse

Anne Whitehouse’s collection BLESSINGS AND CURSES was recently published by Poetic Matrix Press. Her chapbook BEAR IN MIND is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. She is also the author of THE SURVEYOR’S HAND (poems) and FALL LOVE (novel).

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