Poetry — April 23, 2012 13:27 — 0 Comments

Let Me Sleep 20 More Minuets – Kathleen Flenniken

.                                                          –note from Elisabeth, age 12

Here’s more buckles and silk ruffles, twenty

more waltzes and gavottes, twenty minutes

of intricately tatted footsteps


across a ballroom of god rays. Step

lighter than a shed eyelash, than twenty

slow breaths as Morning


(old schoolmarm) taps her baton. More minutes,

more spherical music, more slipper-steps

in high tops, Elisabeth. Here, my dear, twenty-


times-twenty minuets. Step, curtsy, it’s over like that.


Kathleen Flenniken’s first book, Famous,  won the 2005 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, and was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association and a finalist for the Washington State Book Award.  Her new collection, Plume (University of Washington Press, 2012) is an examination of the Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington State.  Flenniken’s awards include a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Artist Trust.  She is the 2012 – 2-14 Poet Laureate of Washington State.

*feature image by Mary Laube

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What am I?

Bioluminescent eye
That sees by the shine
Of its own light. Lies

Blind me. I am the seventh human sense
And my stepchild,

Scientists can't find me.

Januswise I make us men;
Was my image then—

Remind me:

The awful fall up off all fours
From the forest
To the hours…

Tick, Tock: Divine me.

-- Richard Kenney