Barbara Daniels

What the Hammer Knows
by Barbara Daniels

The hammer falls where it will—
the very young, the very old,
their pearl-gray skin. Wind moves

like a great hand, and a mirror
empties. Lost, the exquisite
blooms of the eglantine.

A twisted sassafras. The red
jacket, the long velvet skirt and
figured blouse slipped from me.

Hot blood pulse and the constant
honest ticking of clocks. White
butterfly wings blinking like eyelids.

The simple perfection of apples.
Here are the dead: duplicitous
and funny, laughing, brushing

fragrant hair from their eyes,
sweeping leaf-spattered sidewalks,
counting the visible stars.

A mouse in the wall squeaks
like a hinge. I draw the blinds
to close out the vigilant moon.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 22, Issue 3.

Barbara DanielsBarbara Daniels’s Talk to the Lioness was published by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press in 2020. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. Barbara Daniels received a 2020 fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

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