Mary Ann Samyn

On Vulnerability

Best Kept


On Vulnerability

The last rain comes down from the trees.
Sometimes, unbidden, a lie will come back.

One boy says, “I am crowned victor of that.”
Two boys go down a big hill on skateboards.

Mostly I keep my mind to myself.
I’m not sure if this saddens me or not.

This evening’s sky looks sick.
Intuition tells me what’s wrong; a headache confirms it.

I speak as kindly as possible.
I don’t know any more about danger than I ever did.


Best Kept

Some alone is a tonic.
There, I tally all I’m spared
and am dumb with sorrow.
The holidays wheel by.
Wind sounds the pines.
No one to tell but everyone.
Show me again, you said,
and I did, naturally.
What is it others know better?
Only just all our secrets
like a bit of string in a beak,
bright red, flown home.

MARY ANN SAMYN is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently, Air, Light, Dust, Shadow, Distance, which won the 2017 42 Miles Press Poetry Award and will be published in 2018. She teaches in the MFA program at West Virginia University.


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