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The Weight of Yesterday

Like a fish trap woven from grasses,
It allows passage of the element
In which it is suspended.

Like the light at Lascaux,
It is transparent
And dissolves as salt does on the tongue.

A fragile filament of graphite
Or three columbine seeds,
Or a dime would tip the scales.

Rolled between your fingers,
It crumbles like a dried sage leaf
To fragrant dust wind disperses.

You wonder how such a small thing,
Removed as if a mote from your eye,
Could have caused such irritation.

Held in your palm, it is a smidgen,
An iota, a whit, nothing
A tear could not wash away.

Eric Pankey

New England Review

Volume 34, Number 1 / 2013

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