The Broom and the Witch

The poet has a second heart
often unimaginable
to her family and her friends.
It lies flat and wild
as a Southern savanna,
is an octopus sprung
from a coral-caked sea.
The wing of a bat
is stuck there as well as
a few precious ebony pearls,
a cache of blue bones, a unicorn’s horn,
old paper scraps scarred by pencil & ash
and stained by a spot of white gin.

The second heart doesn’t talk to the first –
it fears contamination.

The first heart can just barely conceive
that second heart exists.

The hearts aren’t kissing cousins.
They are not mortal enemies.

Second heart swoons with suspicions –
the first heart swats at flies.

First heart became first
through no effort of its own.
It was the twin most eager
to jump beyond the broom.
It was the original jester;
it is the primordial clown.

So some think second heart is lazy
and say that it’s afraid. That’s the reason
second heart knows that it will win.
It is the steamboat gambler, holds
the Jack & deuce, only deals a hand
when greenhorns show up after church.

The hearts travel the same wave-length
but they live in different worlds.

One heart is the broom.
The other is the witch.

Lynne Thompson

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