her poems have appeared in numerous publications
And here are my arms: testaments to chores of childhood in Midwest sun
and chosen duties of today.
They are brown against my white thigh at night.
In the morning, I face the mirror, raise them
to bracket my reflection and flex. Lifting bales of hay have bolstered my shoulders.
My upper arms are loaves of hardened bread.
A healing bruise from a sheep’s head
crowding close tattoos a bicep’s flesh.
Nicks from working fence-wire
decorate my forearm skin.
I release my pose, study my hands.
They’ve have gone to hell. A great callus
from the rake that mucks the barn
resides between forefinger and thumb.
My fingertips reek of musky lanolin.
With palms up, weight-lifter’s veins
run from wrist to elbow to armpit
near my breast. My votive offering,
I wrap my arms around you,
whisper lullabies, protect
your each and every breath.
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