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Annette Sisson

Not the Happy Genius of My Household

--after William Carlos Williams’ “Danse Russe” 

How can I be lonely? A jar 

of peach preserves makes its entreé 

on a kitchen shelf among the pepper 

mill, honey pot, mortar and pestle. 

A bottle of Spanish wine flanks 

a bowl of fruit, slack-skinned, 

beside onions, sweet potatoes. 

Sprigs of ivy root in a window

ledge glass, and peace lily, 

orchid, cyclamen peck at the pane 

as if to inspire the outdoor garden 

with their fancy blooms. The house 

settles. Not born for loneliness, 

I write. Aim for work that matters. 

Flaunts its is-ness, flails its limbs, 

dances too rashly on the page 

to regard its loins—to notice the fouetté’s 

lift of leg, wild spin. 

It abandons barre and mirror, struts 

out to the paper’s edge, greets 

the viewers, who matter, their ripostes 

flinging the work into flame-white is.

Annette Sisson lives in Nashville, TN, where she teaches at Belmont University. She enjoys traveling, hiking, baking, watching birds, and supporting local theater. Poetry pubs include Nashville Review, Typishly, One, Turtle Island Quarterly, Kosmos, KAIROS, River Heron Review, and many others, as well as a chapbook entitled A Casting Off (Finishing Line, May 2019). Among other poetry awards, she was named a BOAAT Writing Fellow for 2020, and she recently finished a full-length book of poetry, Small Fish in High Branches, and has begun her quest to find a publisher.

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