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The Day's Work

The Day’s Work
by Shelly Bryant

The Day's Work


bare feet pad forward
stopping before the shrub
      in gentle mist covered
she breathes the fragrant air
a quick evaluation
leads her to wait another day
      for the blueblack berries

under their dew-coat, leaves
silvery, cool to her touch
      and unyielding
deceive with their soft appearance

she withdraws her hand
brushes the moist fingertips
across her eyes
and stretches to her full length
      with a lazy sigh

upon the ritual’s completion
      before her gaze
            the bracken shuffles
             small voices rustle
            tiny wings buzz
            and tree-filtered light
            rests on airy forms
      going about the day’s work

* * *


Shelly Bryant spends half of each year in Singapore teaching English literature, and the other half in Shanghai studying Chinese language. She loves to read, write, cycle, and travel. Her poems have appeared in numerous small press publications, and there are plans in the works for her first collection of poetry to be released late in 2009. You can visit her website.

Where do you get the ideas for your poems?

I would like to have some fantastic explanation, like saying that aliens visit me once a quarter to give me ideas. But then, on top of being untrue, that would do an injustice to any intelligent life that exists out there. The fact is, I get my ideas the old fashioned way — lots of reading, some research, and listening to what is going on around me. Long walks or long cycling trips help flesh out the ideas.

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