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Laws & Field – February 2020

Joann Field and Kyle Laws traded art and words. Joann shared this image, titled “Comar Merry-Go-Round” with Kyle (click image to enlarge):

In response, Kyle wrote this poem:

Whirl of Merry-Go-Round in Mirrors

Center horses stationary while those on the inside
and outside run a race up and down

that never advances to a finish line like the fog
off water as twilight sets in.

The player piano reads scrolls of raised marks
as a blind woman fingers braille at a window

knows the gait of each person who comes
to the top of the bulkhead

wishes them Good evening by name.
She painted the horses after they were carved

decided whether the teeth were off-white
or the color of early wheat in a field

where they will never graze.
She straddled each one, named them, stared up

at the joints in the gears that fold like legs
pumping in a gallop as she slowly lost her sight.

She got to choose which images would stay
with her for the rest of her life—

the carousel and horses she still rode
and sometimes caught in a brilliant reflection

not sure whether it was memory
or light entering in the dark of night.

* * * * *

Kyle shared this poem with Joann:

I want no cache of doves released

as smoke drifts from the crematorium
as I sit up when muscles contract from the fire.
I want an irregular row of starlings to call
from a wire between telephone poles.

I want to see the skeleton of winter trees
out the window from my deathbed
and sparrows pecking seeds from the ash
that litters the ground in my untidy yard.

I want nothing neat about my demise
poems scattered around me on the cot
with scores of notes for changes
so no one will ever know my last thoughts.

And I want to hear the gasp about scars
on a leg broken in too many places to heal well
because no one knew what it took to walk
without a limp.

In response, Joann made this image, titled “no cache of doves”:

no cache of doves

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