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Mercedes Lawry

Departure in the Throes of Spring

Down the westward path

where the willow grass shifts

in a minor wind, the woman

herself an echo of the former,

now eager to be gone, out

of the crumbled house and the nights

of ruined music with the crooked half shutter

and the moss-whipped barrel of rainwater,

the hurry of her lugging a bag

with questionable seams.

She’s left the cold tea and crumbs

and whatever is crammed in the back

cupboard, she’s left her velvet shoes

worn once and her books, she’s left

him who’s sleeping now forever

in the damp bed, the red rough scar

on his chin. Away she is, with intent

and a few coins and no one the wiser

perhaps for weeks to come. She’s past

the lake into the crisp shadows.

She’ll walk as far as she can and further

into a somewhere else she’s longed for,

blank as the blackboard she’d washed

as a child, directed by the nuns

who told her lies.

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Mercedes Lawry is the author of three chapbooks, the latest, In the Early Garden with Reason, was selected by Molly Peacock for the 2018 WaterSedge Chapbook Contest. Her poetry has appeared in such journals as Poetry, Nimrod, and Prairie Schooner and she’s been nominated several times for a Pushcart Prize. Her book, Vestiges, was just released by Kelsay Books. Her collection Small Measures will be published in 2024.

Bear Review


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