Judith Skillman

Judith SkillmanJudith Skillman’s forthcoming book is Broken Lines—The Art & Craft of Poetry, (Lummox Press). Her poems and collaborative translations have appeared in Poetry, Cimarron Review, FIELD, Ezra, Seneca Review, The Iowa Review, and numerous other journals and anthologies. Recipient of an award from the Academy of American Poets for Storm (Blue Begonia Press); two of her collections have been finalists for the Washington State Book Award. For more information visit www.judithskillman.com, or see her blog on techno-bling: abricabrac.com


If Miranda

The magician exists, of course,
if only in her imagination.
She’s the one who created him—
a daughter always makes her father
see with one eye. The other?
It’s gone white as dawn
in an overcast version of Paradise.
The white of an egg
pulled down beneath the lid.
Blindness frightens her, she tries
to make him see
it’s only wiles and guile,
a kind of feminine virtue
known and ignored.
He struts the sand like a bird
too sturdy despite the green toes.
He talks history, of the days
before this day.
Toward evening his apology
grows long as a shawl
of prayers, a foam rope.
She’s the one who must
reach farther in, find
the play within the play.
Without her probing
who would know the vagaries
of his latest illness?
Who plays the scamp,
the scalawag, that rapscallion
bound to haunt the waterfront?

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