Sue Miller

I could take a stick of charcoal
and on the enormous roll of kraft paper
hanging from the rafters, strike
out the shape of earth and sky
then shade it so subtly that all gawp,
discern veracities heretofore unnoticed
as though I were a poet, savior,
a resurrectionist, come to bring them
from death to life

I could fetch a sable from the wrap of brushes
spread on the counter and draw an eye
so limpid it seems the paint is never dry,
the kind you search to clarify what lives in your own
heart for in it there is so much well-borne sadness
as to question the ever-existence of that brevity, youth

I could sculpt a soul from cold marble,
leaving only what the stone tells me must
remain, taking the rest away, and trusting
in my tools to do the work, to listen to the song
of that cold-veined eidolon
as it calls me to uncover its life

But, to shape a future
working with these raw materials?
I have no room to love
the way she needs;
I lack the talent, is all.

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