I’ve given up prognostication in exchange for
flannel sheets pulled hot and soft from the dryer.
I wrap myself in them, become a tartan plaid mummy,
domestic terror. I scare the cats.
The future’s swept bare by my purchase.
I wash dishes. I claim I don’t care.
The floors are dirty. The laundry in piles chastises.
I can’t see my way through to the end of the day
and I don’t want to. The ability to read the future
is no gift. No one believes you anyway.
Consider poor Cassandra. She went mad.
I turn on the television and pray.
Salvation is often found in the plot of a soap opera.
Instead, I get a movie about a group of girls
who go on a picnic and disappear.
One is left behind, too sick to join
that tragic party. The story is old;
people get lost every day. The Pied Piper knew this.
Children gone missing on a mountainside;
children gone missing on a picnic.
One day, when the washer finally breaks and
the garden gives back less in beauty
than it takes in sore knees and thorns in fingers,
I’ll go missing. You can look for me on
the hillside overlooking the Mississippi,
or at the end of the thin sound of a flute.
drawn across the sand flats along the water.
- William Reichard
From the collection "This Brightness," April 2007
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