The Tumbling Box
C&R Press, 2009

Praise for The Tumbling Box

Selections from The Tumbling Box

"The Tumbling Box"

"Turner’s Yellow"

"Virgin and Child with a Dragonfly"

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The Tumbling Box

As a child
I learned to keep my stories to myself.
Inside they spun

like stones in a tumbler,
one of those rotating drums
for polishing

amethyst, jasper, rose quartz
to the smoothness of a lozenge
on the tongue.

And so in conversations
I lagged behind.
When pressed to speak

I’d agree with someone else—
to more than that,
who’d want to listen?

Even now I’m drawn
to another’s version
of the tale of a woman

who said nothing
but what she heard first
from others.

Her voice trailing
after, repeating.
For Echo

nothing could have been worse
than falling in love
with Narcissus.

Unless they’d had children.
To this familiar story
what can I add

that hasn’t been said before?
Over and over,
my stones remind me.

Those untrustworthy masters!
Always reversing themselves,
turning toward me,

then away, upside, down.
Never letting me have the last word
with their never ending

end over end.
Is anybody listening?
End. Over. End.

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