Thursday, May 13, 2010

Poem: "The Fortuneteller"

Here's another of my circus poems from my MFA manuscript. I've been planning to enter some chapbook/book contests--I think I'll probably expand my circus poems and include them too. I'm also waiting to hear from a dear friend about these and her thoughts on them. I definitely feel that I need some more of them though to really flesh out the series. Anyway, here she is in her dark and shadowed tent,

The Fortuneteller
by Cyndle Plaisted Rials

Some offer palms shyly,
as if they never meant to enter the wine-red
tent smelling of jasmine
and incense, but as soon as the flap falls
shut, even the skeptics’ eyes darken,
widen at the prospect of revelation.
The womb released me
with these ancient talents—on the brackish edge
of a river, I read the sky, the birds, my father’s
face in the heat, my angry brother’s black
looks. I read fear everywhere. The rubes
shield their tender fright
with laughter, cup it in their hands
and offer it to me in the shadows
of my tent. Sometimes I tell
the truth about what I see, if it is not too dark,
not too feverish and tragic. If there’s anything
worse than a sad
ending, it’s the knowing
and the wait.

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