IN PRAISE OF THE NEARLY FORGOTTEN
This morning, after the many deliberate years it had taken
to give up waiting, a cardinal brilliant as pain at night
lit on the rail of my fire escape. One of these days
the entire back yard will go scarlet again
as if caught breaking its own green sacrament.
But for now the moon behind its last fair-weather cloud
is a woman alone stepping free of her robe
in a dormer window, her whole candid body
expecting her. One of these days
the gingkoes and motherly sycamores
will have to fade back to their inconsolable separateness.
I suppose I should praise the old, hallowed goings away.
But Lord make me grateful, too,
for the little, unfrightening shocks—
the dance step remembered, the flare of the shameless
hibiscus, the sweep of male along female,
the sudden gust picking up.
Frannie Lindsay's fourth book manuscript, Our Vanishing, was selected by Red Hen Press for the 2013 Benjamin Saltman Award, and it will be released in 2014. She also received the Missouri Review Prize in 2008. In addition, Lindsay has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.