Cheryl Snell


Our house floats by on the river,
brass knocker rapping
against the door. Sorrow enters
and it takes hours
for our belongings to slip
into the water, weeks for a few
to surface. They come
out of context, altered, still shrinking,
while you, a flick of light and spine
leaning out the windowsill, take inventory.

There is nothing
to be learned from this, no lesson,
just as there is no reason
why you should turn inside out
over a pair of gloves at the bottom
of a box earmarked for the trash.
Yet you pick them up and shake them
like the hand of an old friend
whose face you had almost forgotten,
but whose features you would recognize,
if you ever saw them again.

Cheryl Snell has a novel, Shiva’s Arms, and four collections of poetry. She serves as book reviews editor for Alsop Review.