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Sample Poems by Anne Harding Woodworth

Daisy Chain
Diagnosis: schizophrenia

Ellie, Ellie, saffron Ellie
picks daisies easy
eats pizza at Pistelli's
Ellie laughs
broad girl-lips
carries the daisy chain with friends

Ellie, Ellie, woman Ellie
sallower now begins to split
Ellie here Ellie there
half an Ellie grabs an Ellie
keeps her inside
ever fewer months a year

finds an Ellie
in a pocket
dot staccato
in a pocket
she'd forgotten
and another in a locket

tattered words of katydids
thrown from deep-brown Ellie-throat
pickatale tinkerpail
till there's no going back
Ellie Ellie Ellie/Ellie


And Everything Nice

Spices in my kitchen cabinet
have to be in alphabetical order.
Think OCD, if you must.

The C's--most hard, some soft--
win hands down.
Cardamom, cayenne, caraway,

curry, cloves, cumin, coriander,
celery salt, cinnamon,
chilies and chives.

The dill stands alone. The dill stands alone.
Heigh-ho the derry O,
rosemary, too.

And nutmeg. Beware the nutmeg.
It has psychoactive myristicin
that'll launch you beyond Thanksgiving.

Taste it with me, my pretty.
And show me how to get into the oven.


Homeless

Remember the old draft? 1A,1Y, 4F?
There will always be a Vietnam.
You're looking for your leg. All around,
the seen and the missing--like the child
outside the movie house, kidnapped.
The asylum on the hill will not let you in.
All refuge is closed and taking water into its lungs.
They're buying insurance on the exchange
or pot in Denver. Meth among the tweakers.
You have some place to sleep tonight.
You do, don't you? Always a Canada, too.
Fighting--good for business.
Fighting--good business.
Every day you fall out of the WTC
into the construction site below, the abyss,
where religions fight in the name of religion
reflected in a pool. God kills. You know that,
but all human beings are not created equal.
The boy pulls a trigger again and again
in Newtown and Kabul, no difference in guns.
You sleep on a grate, covered in eaten blankets
looking for your leg, listening for a siren.


Good-Luck Bin

Each day it yielded
something she would need.
This time a diamond earring
sparkled on the walk
just beside the bin. She squinted
at its brilliance,
bent to pick it up,
stem askew, golden setting dented.
It'd be safe in her pocket, safe
from heavy feet
of those with scraps
and clods to toss.
She never wondered
if the diamond trod upon was real,
never wondered
how it happened to be biding there
amid the grit beside the bin,
where she came daily shod
in worn-out running shoes,
not knowing whose they'd been,
nor was she curious.