by Mercedes Lawry

I am past tense
and permafrost, formerly gullible,
freckled and sad.
I’ve swallowed rumors,
sliced my tongue on regret
and come out the other side
electrified. I won’t stand
for the rise of small minds.
I’ll lend my voice, high and childlike,
and return to the basics,
pulling them on like old socks.I am fluid and harbinger,
trenchant, expectant.
I am exhale, inviolate,
incendiary soul.
I’ll wave the words to the side,
spilling all punctuation.
I’ll break the fourth wall
into bite-sized chunks,
bellowing cinders into fire,
fire to fevered hope.

I am wing and wire, etched
on river stones.
I am January fog
and the white breath of travelers.
When the train whistle
breaks apart my last bad dream,
I will enter the stand of trees
without shadow or fear,
only pale forgiveness
carried in plain sight.


intentions_mercedes-lawryMercedes Lawry was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has lived in Seattle, Washington for over 30 years. She has published poetry in such journals as Poetry, Rhino, Nimrod, Poetry East, Seattle Review, and others. Her chapbook, There Are Crows in My Blood, was published by Pudding House Press in 2007 and her chapbook Happy Darkness was released by Finishing Line Press this past summer. She has also published some fiction as well as stories and poems for children. Among the honors she’s received are awards from the Seattle Arts Commission, Hugo House, and Artist Trust. In Addition, Lawry has been a Jack Straw Writer and held a residency at Hedgebrook.

One thought on “Intentions

  1. Suzanne Plein says:

    Thoroughly taken with a plethora of personal and natural imagery. A lot of thought was given to her characteristics.
    The hardest part to read was in second stanza: “i’ll wave the words aside spilling all punctuation…”Yet how clever and grabbing. The poet in me loved reading the entire poem out loud several times for rhythm and for clarity. Perhaps II can read your new chapbook.


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