Finish | Paulann Petersen



I rub my shoulder 
against a doorframe’s wood, 
getting the feel of this creature
felled and transformed.
My fingers curve to knead blood
toward a muscle’s hurt, lotion 
into an elbow roughened by neglect.
Snubbing shoes, I let bare soles
reacquaint themselves
with the wear of pavement’s grit.
Clothes serve the modest task 
of long, soft friction.

Bit by bit, night by day,
I grow smoother-grained, 
ready for light. Let me be 
a mirror in which something else 
might catch a glimpse of itself—
the burnished stone beneath
a lifetime of water, flowing.

                       —Paulann Petersen


Kindle, Mountains and Rivers Press, 2008


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