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The Skyrocket

From "Holding Our Own: The Selected Poems of Ann Stanford," edited by Maxine Scates and David Trinidad (Copper Canyon Press: 192 pp., $16 paper)

July 07, 2002|Ann Stanford

How sheer the arc I took, vagrant in speed,

Self-circling star, and breathed upon my flight,

Higher and slow and then again to height

Past summer bonfires, over the house the trees

Gathering suspense in the attempt to thrust

Beyond all earth! Then, sudden gasp and stop.

Elate, I puffed in fire and golden drops

Till the one brightness spread to nebulous.

And I, a single fleck, fall into dark

While strewn about, my sister selves, a shower

Of small and dimming lights, sift lower and lower

And pale and flake and disappear in calm.

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