Three Poems By Amanda Ryan

Delicate

like the skin of a bubble,
the sheen of gasoline;

The trill of birdsong off strings 
in a Messiaen Quartet.

Like half-articulated prayers,
grappling mix of truth and error.

Who yet can say what this
exchange will bring, whether 

it will flit like steam, or
Like brass bells in eternity, ring. 
                                      When
              The world seems small, and life revolves around
this room and that, and walking close to the earth
brings out the tick of its dull clock, the sound
like a hand against my back, a shoving curse

towards all that’s vain and grasping for 
the wind—What one man sows another reaps
and it is all a mist. The truth is a chore,
with nothing new under the sun to seek. 

Then make me small—enough to see the cracks
on hands and walls, to feel the fly’s footfalls,
the shatter of stained glass light off leaves shellacked
in jade and hear the skyline full of squall.
An August Afternoon in the Suburbs

The water guns lie wet where they were dropped
when calls to pass the popsicles were made,
their pooling shadows sidewalk chalk
and blurs, and quick, evaporates away.
The craftsman homes are lined on streets that smell
like chlorine and sun-baked asphalt. Here,
the noise of grills and fans and bicycle bells
are in the air and somewhere someone sheers
the sides of his well-kept lawn. We scramble up
a dead end wall, and sit on bricks and watch
the traffic flow. Above, a sun-spilled cup
of sky, as red as Koolaide, and one grey splotch.
We say that summer will always be this great.
Some twenty miles away a fire escapes.

Amanda Ryan holds B.A.s in English Literature and Music from U.C. Davis and an M.A. in Theology and Letters from New Saint Andrews College. She has written short literary guides for students on Jane Eyre and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, published by Canon Press. Her poetry has been published by the Curator, The Christian Century, and Mezzo Cammin. She is a stay-at-home mom and lives in Bellevue, WA, with her husband and four children.

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