by Rebecca M. Frank

    I. Again

    Another year sweeps in
    brushing away cobwebs and footprints,
    the tracks of yesterdays erased.
    Clean slate
    here at the cusp,
    the stop between the in breath and the out,
    a pause declaring possibility, bleeding
    hopeful promises well heard
    and carelessly spoken.
    A rush of merriness cloaks dawn's gifts
    of bleak winter light
    and the customary hangover as
    clocks stand witness:
    another day done.


    is everything, they say
    which leaves one wondering
    who is they anyway
    and does it really all come down to a good watch?


    I will never let the last half of my tea grow cold.
    I will read everything that I should already have read
    and absorb it thoroughly, until it changes me
    and words fly off my tongue with absolute wit and charm
    and my poems become unbearably wise and so beautiful that people sigh
    and begin again.
    I will remember punctuation and pay it respect
    when absolutely necessary but
    I will refuse to become trite or even conventional and
    I will write, yes, at the very least,
    I will write.


    Promise a day of light, not strung and sparked
    but sincere and reliable,
    standing on a well marked horizon,
    a holiday without the bitter wind
    without persecuted poultry,
    a pause that is invitation only without
    the politics of who gets what and who said what and
    so many sales and returns and impatient drivers
    promise me that warm sand
    your tender hand pressed in mine
    this simple joy
    promise me a next year.

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