fold its edges
in gold paper
to rest on a scale.
the catapult of one
the other swings
bobs and waits
for a leaf of one's
want to waft down.
such gentle collisions
crush more than steel
crack more than bones upon slight contact.
About this poem
"People fail to realize how much devastation comes from loss and how even delicate measures underscore how a feather or the small see-saw of a scale can dole out the last intolerable blow. When I thought of that image, reminiscent of the Egyptian concept of ma'at, I knew that floating feather, and the gilded wrapping paper of grief would unfold into a back and forth of lines that began to resemble the up and down of a scale reconciling its received weight."
About Tara Betts
Tara Betts is the author of "Break the Habit" (Trio House Press, 2016) and the chapbook "7 x 7: kwansabas" (Backbone Press, 2015). She teaches at the University of Illinois-Chicago and lives in Chicago.
The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.
(c) 2015 Tara Betts. Originally published by the Academy of American Poets, www.poets.org. Distributed by King Features Syndicate
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