(Andy Montgomery, Flickr)


Capitoline Museum, Rome

She knows without remembering,
alert and peaceful at once,
and she will stand as she is,

her surface soaking up the light,
as long as her life is food.

She is made of quiet that
survives the spear and
the song, outlasting
by far the gloved hands of

the bronze smelter as he tosses
another ingot into the smoke.
                        Now she

does not have to think. Soon?
she never wonders.
She is loyalty in its beginnings,

steadfastness in its earliest origins,
a guardian made of gravity,
a hue the color of tirelessness
as wakeful as the years to come.

Published in the May 2021 issue: View Contents

Michael Cadnum has published nearly forty books. His new collection of poems, The Promised Rain, is in private circulation. He lives in Albany, California.

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