Shadowbox

by
V.C. McCabe

  The fleeting given,   you are grateful
for the brevity    as much as the bestowal,
the sage advice, the marrow, the clawed out
eyes    of your anxiety—    if our outsides
matched our insides,    everyone would scream
and run away—   a tiny wish    stays hidden,
penitent remains,    let us be   as divided
as a wishbone,    picked clean    by scavengers.
  I’ve lost the plot.
                                  You empathize
the homeless woman  hiding her trove
under a butterfly bush  in the parking lot
of your corporate office,   still
you turn away,   or so your privilege won’t hurt
   her pride,   or vice versa.
Our eyes take in  what our brains can’t process
for our mouths to say.   Why don’t we do
  anything  of substance?
We have always hated   mirrors
  for reflecting  our flaws.


V.C. McCabe’s work appears, or is forthcoming, in Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, The Minnesota Review, Tar River Poetry, Spillway, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Entropy, and elsewhere. She has lived in Ireland, England, and West Virginia.

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