Bless the Mistaken

Bless the Mistaken

How did this happen?
Did the poet really say she hates commas –
little waves,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
on a lake on a wind-free day or
stepping stones so even your foot
takes for granted a perfect landing
until your ankle turns a way
it was never meant to
and you must wait by the lake
to watch water rinse pebbles
into gems

and then the boss who would never
give permission for an exclamation point
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the tracks of a big one beside a little one
holding hands and giggling
about linear feet and hopping to reggae

and another person says you can’t use but
because hinges are seldom perfect,
a screw gets loose in everyone
and if you slam the door on what happened
yesterday when you messed up, rest
assured that pine slab feels a wound
in some heartwood that had roots
where both universes co-exist,
side one and side two

gurus don’t weigh forgiveness
in pounds; they suggest you reconnect
with teachers, mamas, the hungry shadows
that amaze you when they stretch
into train tracks that tease you
forward toward a hand to hold
to bear your sadness

that sees three bluejays in one blue spruce.
All the same size. Side by side by side.
Do they call themselves friends
or lovers or family. I call them a party.

A great disobedience is to feel in fear
the sprout of possible, the scrounger
that came to my friend’s garden as a purple flower
with a tiny yellow center until she found out
it was stinky nightshade, her discovery
of the delicacy of poison
she yanks out before it sets red berries

meant to tempt. And they do.
The rabbits coveting a garden
eat them without harm
and also bluejays,
the appropriate parties.


Tricia Knoll is a Vermont poet who spends an inordinate amount of time weeding and ripping out invasive plants. Her most recent chapbook Checkered Mates focus on relationships that work…or don’t work.

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