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I could buy a garden gargoyle

And set it out relentlessly scowling

Toward the kitchen window of the woman

Who flings dead branches from her yard to mine

Because they’ve fallen from my willow trees.

I would love a garden gargoyle.

But there are outdoor angels, too.

Perhaps if one stood serenely smiling

Toward the kitchen window of the flinger,

It would sweeten her cherished sourness

So she’d leave the branches for her yard man.

I could love an outdoor angel.

Still, I’m afraid I’d love the gargoyle more

If only I thought God would not keep score.

”Mary Margaret Milbrath

A Frieze of Stone Saints

Without their heads, they look eloquent

still, seated as they are in an attitude

of attention, upright on thrones. Patient,

I suppose, as the long-buried dead

who perhaps don’t know they are dead

what do the dead know? Maybe nothing,

in which case they don’t wait for God,

though we tell ourselves they are waiting,

however long it takes. Along this wall

the saints look down without eyes.

Their lost faces either grave or joyful

or both. Never neither. Nor anonymous,

though no one names them. Nor mute. The
very stone

testifies: We were made. We remain.

”Sally Thomas

Ivy Pretends

Ivy pretends

To grow in whimsy,

Perpendicular, accidental,

Tendrils right, left.

Unawed by granite,

Ivy scales, claims the top,

Extends, droops,

Flutters downward,

Deceptively pliant,

Knowing, greenly:

Growth is never


”Cleo Griffith

Death of the Schooner Muerte

Confront the wind and lose

all motion. Do body and mind bemuse,

viewed as adversary

harbors? In jibbing’s momentary

flight, atmosphere is muse.

Cardinal points in queues,

roulette-wheels, transfuse

pole to magnetic pole. In contrary:

bow and stern, fore and aft, lies the necessary

other. A shadow finds the body for its ruse.

Must fixed points confuse

all else as motion? Muerte , peruse

calligraphic wave: sanctuary,

melodic script: reliquary

where all waters, winds, diffuse.

”Valerie Wohlfeld