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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hide-and-Seek

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I am nowhere to be found.
Light seeks me out in its speed-
happy travels, shimmies up
my hillock of daffodils, shimmers
my neighbor’s tiled turquoise waters,
ricochets home to my dream-
dark bed. I am not in it.
Am I typing myself into the bark
of an oak? Melting my ice dams
under the bridge? Sunning
my problematic soul on a rock?
In the blink of an eye I am
snake-quick, fish-slick. Look
again for me, I’ll be
grass-slow, star-high,
waiting to surprise you.
In a raincloud of confession.
In a cedar closetful of grief.
In a hand-mirror of laughter.
If you find me, I promise
from now on to wear
my bluest silk dress,
my biggest hoop earrings,
my leather pumps
red as robins. Or if you
prefer I can trickster-
twist my outfit into faded
work-shirt, patched dungarees
and sneakers, modest jade band.
Whatever tools of the trade
it takes—rake, kayak, pickup
or rocket to find me,  
I’m ready to burn leaves,
rivers, rubber, jet fuel.
I’m ready for liftoff.  


Kate Sontag is co-editor of After Confession: Poetry as Autobiography (Graywolf) and teaches at Ripon College. Her work has been featured in Valparaiso Poetry Review, and she has recent poems in Prairie Schooner's boomer issue, Verse Wisconsin, and forthcoming in Seattle Review. She has also appeared in many anthologies, including Boomer Girls, Are You Experienced?, and Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa).