it feels like tattling
or telling a secret

we’re getting tired of the widow

she’s still cute you know enigmatic
with her air of holding out a crustacean
in a portrait except lately
it seems she’s pretending

I think she senses our disappointment
we’re having trouble getting the contact reverie
we got used to
the colors of anyplace she stands
are lingering in her
she blocks the tv

we talk about getting another widow
for her to putter with
but if they reach critical vagueness
and disappear
or vagueness spreads vaguing out the family bonds
scattering us all on the four winds

we never should have taught her how to talk
but her murmuring was promising
there was something almost we could hear a reminder

as if we contrived to see our own dawning
and dimming
we may have prompted her like that horse clever hans

she toes the fringe of the carpet
looks at us toes harder until embarrassed
we pretend it’s charades
you’re a mare of triton

she’s drawn to thresholds and curbs
she calls any scrap of paper

what is she turning into
is she still a widow


Author Image

Benjamin Gantcher‘s poems have appeared in several publications, including Cousin Corinne’s Reminder, Tin House, Slate, and The Brooklyn Rail, and are forthcoming in Spinning Jenny. His first book, If a Lettuce, was a finalist in the National Poetry Series and Bright Hill Press contests. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, a resident at Ucross and Art/Omi’s Ledig House, and a poetry editor of the online journal failbetter.

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