Can’t. Can, Too. by Cally Conan-Davies

Can’t. Can, Too.

The curve of her half-smile is not unlike
a scythe. The way he leans on the ladder-back
chair is something very like a cat,
demure, before the fur stands and the rat-attack.

Most people never take time to think that a crack
or chink need not indicate a spot inclined to break.
There’s more at stake than a fix or a mate. Look
to the less and the lack, those who speak kind of quaint.

Me, I’m a little bit like a kite, caught up
in a current, content the moment before I’m cut
then suddenly the somersault and tangled strings
fighting the wind, then smack, my colours crash,
but like other things, most capable when I seem least.
A paper sheet flies creased and creased and creased.

by Cally Conan-Davies, first published in Quadrant.

Editor’s Note: Word play in poetry can be overdone, to the detriment of the meaning of the lines, but in this verse, the rhyme, consonance, and imagery serve the message. The last line’s repetition is particularly well-done—it forces the reader to pay attention.

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