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Afternoon 3

by Daneen Wardrop

After the storm, my daughter runs
                              from deck to wading pool and back, many times,
                                                             investigates a dragonfly,

runs an agreement with gravity—
to keep it happy
                               that it can have a say—

At what rip in the gravity do we enter?

There are no places yet where her body resists itself
                                              and that is a truth—

and the netted bow of dragonfly wings

and the shaled light on water-surface

and the lilac bush a thousand years from the deck—


Daneen Wardrop’s poems have appeared in Seneca Review, TriQuarterly Magazine, Michigan Quarterly Review, Antioch Review, Carolina Quarterly, and others. She is the author of two books of literary criticism, including Emily Dickinson’s Gothic (University of Iowa Press). Wardrop teaches American literature at Western Michigan University, where she is professor of English. (1/2005)

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