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Contributor Series 8: Feast and Famine, Small Miracles

04.10.11 Posted in Contributor Series 8, words to linger on by

Contributor Series 8: Feast and Famine

Small Miracles

By Joseph Harker

In our private mythology, they are a far-off tribe,

the great-aunts and -uncles, the second cousins and

relations whose status is still unknown. Once upon a time,

they were snowbirds who traded winter in their joints

for alligator country. For fountains lined with moss,

sand between their toes. We don’t visit much anymore

but the memory remains.

And the tribute from their distant country

arrives on our doorstep in the dead of December,

when the world has bleached itself of color.

A plain brown box. Treasure chest.

Pry it open: and into our heartland which was

muddy and grey, tangled with dead tree limbs,


the commotion of innocent tangerines

the thick-bodied Navels their eunuch cousins

the auric giants’ eyes of grapefruit

each with its own particular scent

clambering for attention. We have had enough

of wrapping paper and gift receipts and milk chocolate.

Instead take the colors of your southern paradise,

that our bleak afternoons have forgotten. Roll them

and nestle the like soft fantastic eggs. We would

suggest a new proverb about the spirit of giving,

but we are too busy

enjoying the satisfaction of thumbnail lifting peel,

of sunlight rejoicing on the tongue.

Joseph Harker’s most recent poem to appear at vox poetica was Zubaidah in March 2010.

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