Blue Hole

by Nancy Meneely

in the middle of an hour
behaving well, a sinkhole
opens under me. It wasn’t;
then it is. It is the sorry
sibling of the startling joy
of mornings when the cat
does sidestrokes through
the flood of sunshine on the floor
and there is quiet just enough.

My undermind, it seems,
is racketing around some store
of not quite sensibility, happens on
what might develop shape
as someone gone, an hour
of laughter irretrievable,
the painless pervious bones
that hold me up, my daughter grown
and pulling out from underneath
my self’s hypothesis.
The shapelessness is only deep.

So good it’s never more than blinks
before I snag a handhold
at the swallet’s lip. Sometimes it’s you,
sometimes the book awaiting me,
the prospect of a change
in furnishings, the table here,
the footstool maybe there,
improving everything.
A conversation in the other room
can make a woven, sturdy bridge.
Or I can simply balance
on the edge until the sinkhole
puckers, disappears.
I have not yet studied how to fall
toward what I can’t describe.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 3.

SinkholeNancy Meneely’s poetry and prose, including a number of poetry book reviews, have appeared in a variety of publications and newspapers, and one poem was performed recently by the East Haddam Stage Company. Her book, Letter from Italy, 1944, published by Antrim House, provides the libretto for an oratorio of the same name composed by her sister, Sarah Meneely-Kyder, and performed in April 2013. A film by prize-winning documentarian Karyl Evans on the making of this oratorio premiered in 2014.

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