“Coming to Terms"
by Catherine Chandler
Final Judge: A.E. Stallings
Coming to Terms
I put aside my white smocked cotton blouse,
the pants with the elastic belly panel.
The only music in the empty house
strains from a distant country western channel.
My breasts are weeping. I’ve been given leave —
a week in which to heal and convalesce.
I peel away the ceiling stars, unweave
the year I’d entered on your christening dress.
I rearrange my premises — perverse
assumptions! — gather unripe figs; throw out
the bloodied bedclothes; scour the universe
in search of you. And God. And go about
my business, as my crooked smile displays
the artful look of ordinary days.