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Sample Poems By Jennifer Markell Writer

Sample poems from "Singing at High Altitude," Main St. Rag publishing Co., 2021

Inside a Thought Bubble
Dreams sometimes come with a free
trial of something you thought you wanted.
Your fingernails paint themselves red
and grow into claws. You shave your head
so you can feel closer to the sun.
An imagined lover hands you a glimpse.
While you sleep, a wig machine
weaves regret into silk.
A quilter hand-stitches a gathered view.
The future hides with speckled moths,
pineapples, amulets, flamboyant
scarves and fearless swans
swimming backwards like dreams.

Rent Control
Her landlord showed up
to fix the porch light,
stood beside her on the cracked
stoop, assessing.
He asked about night school, her job
at the Busy Bee, her baby daughter.
Praised her summer sundress.
Then the demand:
Turn around, let me look at you.
Years later, she needed to know--
had she paused, resisted, if only
a few seconds—hesitated, before
she tamed the flounce of her
flowered dress
and turned a half-circle for him.
Her landlord’s smile spread
over the field of flowers,
an almighty sun scorching the lilies.

The sky can’t keep the clouds it loves.
It searches boulders, mimics seaside mist.
Light reveals then confounds--
ocher and gold, turbulent purple.
Under scumbled branches, women
huddle in a halo of shadow.
A baby sleeps in a boneyard of flowers.
Where are we going? Far into nowhere.
Where do we come from? Fruit the color of flesh.

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