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From the archives — Miranda and Caliban — Laurie Byro

Miranda and Caliban

It’s not safe to love
the other. The black seeds I carry
in my purse will grow as lily
or vine of jasmine. I’ve plucked
brown leaves that resemble claws
from my flowers. I’ve dusted the garden
with mother-of-pearl and shell, garnished
bone china with daisies. I grind
the cast-offs of animals. Soft beneath,
we lose hardness when we love.

As I waited for you to come, sun spread
its fire on the heads of poppies. Someone
in pity cut the chain that kept a dog
leashed to a four foot yard. Night
after night we’d hear her howl as a man
took a stick to her back because
she was hungry and dared

to want. She races into the long grasses
outside your bed, tall grasses filled with snakes.
You, who are afraid of darkness, avoid me
and my diamond eyes. I see deep into your hunger.

While I carried each stone away, lifted
the fence that kept you out, I decided
not to be scared to know things.
Sometimes now I toss fallen butterflies
back into the tattered air.

by Laurie Byro

from Autumn Sky Poetry Number 4, December 2006


2 responses to “From the archives — Miranda and Caliban — Laurie Byro”

  1. Caroline Johnson Avatar
    Caroline Johnson

    Lovely. Just lovely.

    1. Mary McCarthy Avatar

      “Because she was hungry and dared to want”..stunning poem!

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