The Problem with Joy

It’s not negotiable. It flits through cedar, smacking
plate glass, leaving a small gray blotch. Winter, early dark

—no glittery snow to pretty things broken,
and lost. Yes, the sky mourns; it rained. She didn’t

so much want to die as stop. Raising her hood,
she walked down the drive for the mail, no intimate

garage door slot, a rural delivery box—the boots’
crunch on gravel like a dog’s percussive bark

or two oaks rubbing shoulders daily, or waves
scrubbing minuscule whorled shells and quartz

to sand, or the peeling of a bandage, leaving a scar
—or boots on gravel. She could live with that.

Diane K. Martin lives in West Sonoma County, California. Her poems have appeared in Field, Zyzzyva, Harvard Review, Narrative, Plume, and Rhino. Her work was included in Best New Poets 2005, and received a Pushcart Prize Special Mention. Her first collection, Conjugated Visits (Dream Horse Press), was published in 2010.
*Photo courtesy of Morning View.
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