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By Caroline Define | Posted 3/6/2002

There is a house of women
living in an abandoned mansion
some playboy's Great Depression loss
the women are like birds
they sing early in the morning
songs of the seventies
like gospels
sometimes I watch them
from the clouds that stall so often
over this Kansas plain
I dangle my legs in the sky
and roll in vertigo
which is not the fear of falling
but the fear you may jump off
the women pick blackberries
and harvest green bell peppers until dusk
when they drop their clothes like heavy rakes and hoes
and settle into dirt-caked lawn chairs
cracking under their weight
nothing man-made can hold a woman right
eyes in a row
they stare down the sun
while fingers tangle with the wild grass
I hang suspended
but know when I watch these women grow black
and blend in with the earth and the sky
they are not waiting for deliverance
when night comes I disappear into oblivion
which is not the fear of moving forward
but the fear of glancing back

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