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Sunken Garden Poetry Festival


when I reached for the popcorn,
the onions fell gracefully.

gracefully they fell, acrobatic orbs
tumbling through space,
dancing through the dank air
of the pantry like ballerinas.

weightless, like ballerinas whose selves
are composed of their ability to float
out of themselves

and become motion, become rhythm.

the onions were liquid rhythm,
a vegetable waterfall.

they escaped the red mesh bag
and flew, drunk with freedom,
from the unimaginative wooden shelf.

but I caught them
returned the dancers
from their giddy self-exile
before they hit rock bottom:

the hard reality of the kitchen floor.

I placed them safe and sound
in the arms of the mesh bag,

knowing that someday they would come to love it
as Winston came to love Big Brother.

Copyright 2002 by Laura Mandelberg

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