Excerpt: 'The Best Of It'

The Edges of Time

It is at the edges
that time thins.
Time which had been
dense and viscous
as amber suspending
intentions like bees
unseizes them. A
humming begins,
apparently coming
from stacks of
put-off things or
just in back. A
racket of claims now,
as time flattens. A
glittering fan of things
competing to happen,
brilliant and urgent
as fish when seas
retreat.

Relief

We know it is close
to something lofty.
Simply getting over being sick
or finding lost property
has in it the leap,
the purge, the quick humility
of witnessing a birth —
how love seeps up
and retakes the earth.
There is a dreamy
wading feeling to your walk
inside the current
of restored riches,
clocks set back,
disasters averted.

Home to Roost

The chickens
are circling and
blotting out the
day. The sun is
bright, but the
chickens are in
the way. Yes,
the sky is dark
with chickens,
dense with them.
They turn and
then they turn
again. These
are the chickens
you let loose
one at a time
and small —
various breeds.
Now they have
come home
to roost — all
the same kind
at the same speed.

"The Edges of Time" from The Best of It Copyright 2010 by Kay Ryan, reprinted with the permission of the publisher, Grove Atlantic Inc.

"Relief" Copyright 1996 reprinted in The Best of It Copyright 2010 by Kay Ryan, reprinted with the permission of the publisher, Grove Atlantic Inc.

"Home to Roost" Copyright 2005 reprinted in The Best of It Copyright 2010 by Kay Ryan, reprinted with the permission of the publisher, Grove Atlantic Inc.

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