The Warp

Everything rusts, warps, settles off-center
askew. I ask you, Is this what I meant
to make of myself? Except what’s entered
the cracks in the smooth façade of my intent
is bright—unforeseen as moonlight’s
body in the radiant dark. Rusted solid,
I am stuck in spots I had set all my might
against, unaware when love’s slow heat oxid-
ized me to what I said I didn’t want.
Bent to the daily make and keep of mother, wife,

I thought myself a “shrinky-dink”—the life
baked out of me, my juices spent. What went
was only blinding rush and noise. I’ll take
what’s here—loss and what it made of me, what it let me make. 

Leatha Kendrick is the author of three volumes of poetry, including her most recent, Almanac of the Invisible. Her poems and essays have been widely anthologized, and she is a two-time recipient of the Al Smith Fellowship in Poetry from the Kentucky Arts Council and has received fellowships from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Her MFA in Poetry is from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and she leads workshops at the Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning.

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