April 8, 2013
When Poetry Leaves for Good

 The potted plants are the first to react,

witnesses of the exodus,

who sip from the sorrow of the windowsill,

until every leaf droops in bitter dismay.


Held together in a figurative way,

the furniture sways before it collapses,

and a cloud of wood chips and corduroy

peppers the floor like punctuation that poetry left behind.


You’re not even sure why it left, or when.


Did it flee in the morning, while you were at work,

slamming the door in a final salute,

or slink from the house at 3 a.m.,

turning the keys with a stealthy click?

You decide it was really a trickle,

like light leaking from the end of a sieve.


In response, the ceiling is weeping tiles,

the windows are glazed with cracks and grit,

and you stand in the thick of it,

with a broom and a pan overflowing with dust.


—Darla K. Crist   (Vigo County)


Darla K. Crist’s writing has appeared in various publications, including Mississippi Review, Quarter After Eight, Leviathan, Diagram, and Earth’s Daughters. Awards for her fiction include the Andre Dubus Award for the Novella from Smallmouth Press. Her book of poetry, The God of Small Losses, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2009 and another book of poetry, Catherine Sophia’s Elbow: A Love Story, is forthcoming from Folded Word Press. She is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Ivy Tech Community College, where she also serves as Writing Center Director.

Indiana Humanities is posting a poem a day from Indiana poets in celebration of National Poetry Month.

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