By Jennifer Burd

Reading Accompanied with Music By: Laszlo Slomovits

Featured Art: Zinnias by H. Lyman Saÿen

While I was away the world
went on without me—
a spider completed its web
under my plant stand,
dust from an unseen wind
settled in all the hard-to-reach places,
light drifted across the walls.
The ceiling fan dipped its oars
in stillness. Zinnias in the vase
went from Technicolor
to hand-painted antique postcard hues.
The world’s bad news got worse,
the good news, better than expected.
Letters and bills fought for room
in the mailbox. Mold helped itself
to the food I hadn’t eaten,
and a late rose bloomed in the garden.
I watched myself considering each thing,
thinking, this is how it will be.

Jennifer Burd is the author of two full-length books of poetry, Days Late Blue and Body and Echo; a chapbook, Receiving the Shore, which includes a CD of her poems set to music by Laszlo Slomovits; and a book of creative nonfiction, Daily Bread: A Portrait of Homeless Men & Women of Lenawee County, Michigan. Burd holds an MFA from the University of Washington and teaches writing online through The Loft Literary Center, in Minneapolis. Read more at jenniferburd.ink.

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