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Ghost Laundry

By fall they brush up against us, almost flapping
with scent, these absences that are constant and faithless
in the same breath.

Like heathens, we can't believe our abandoners
and want more than the solar drag of wind on the clothesline.

After a heavy rain, apples wash by in the ditch, turtles
head for the road, a meeting place for the high
and low.

I watch clouds shadow fields of sunflowers,
that golden crop that follows beginning
to its end.

Why our need to stop things
in mid-air, as if the waterfall could refuse more?

One night you said you could see her smile again.
The smile she wore, a worn smile
like the beaten path that stays well after the garden.

Katherine Soniat

The Swing Girl
Louisiana State University Press

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