Katherine Soniat

Strange     that Penelope
March 24, 2022 Soniat Katherine

Strange     that Penelope


does not question or pray in a selfish manner
Nor is she a narcissist with fanciful selves
startling from her mirror
But at times (not known to many) Telemachus watches
her levitate at sundown          for she too is out looking
He searches through her eyes until they form a long line
of clouds                       Never completed
(Maybe you she too would asked for more from life
had she known more about speaking)
Say    in the middle of one half-truth another comes bottoms-up
from a Bog of Ink that throws up broken phrases
but never finishes a sentence
dopey kid you alone did not cause the split in your parents
It’s a dilemma arriving way before you were born
Can anyone stop yes     from shifting       full-force into
Pithy little essay (this one)                  Action rarely swoops in
from a wilderness of choices
Elemental puzzles of fire
earth   and wind over water add profundity to puddles
of human ignorance
That curving number eight counted too in my murky ball
as a child   Closed track of infinity   Over and over
the same route      No better way to learn than with friends
and enemies who swap places                 but can’t change

KATHERINE SONIAT’S eighth collection of poems—Polishing the Glass Storm—is recently out from LSU Press, 2022. Her ninth collection, Starfish Wash-up, is forthcoming from Etruscan Press in 2023. Bright Stranger was published in 2016 (LSU PRESS). The Goodbye Animals was awarded the Turtle Island Chapbook Prize (2014). A Shared Life won the University of Iowa Poetry Prize. She has served on the faculty at Hollins University and Virginia Tech.