Frannie Lindsay

Two O’Clock and Stray
March 19, 2024 Lindsay Frannie

Two O’Clock


As though all at once it is afternoon
and the clouds have spread
their big relaxed bodies


like women finally ancient enough
to give birth to their true loves


and now want nothing more
than a glass of water
that no one else has bothered


to bless, and then to rest their tired arms
over the hearts of their darlings
and then, only then,


to offer just themselves
the sip that will take them forever,
and then to go to back to sleep.





You have had way too much
daylight and moonlight
all to yourself,
now no one is left


to watch you
tuck your famished shadow
as far underneath you
as it will go,


and no one sees
the tiny vigilant fist of you
closing up bristled and drenched
against the entire blown night,


and no one is here
but a star, itself sequestered
too long in its own chill heaven
to ever deserve a name,


now whitely gathering
just enough quiet to make
of your young and breakable bones
its unseeing, intimate beams

Frannie Lindsay is the author of six volumes of poetry, most recently The Snow’s Wife (CavanKerry Press, 2020) and If Mercy (The Word Works, 2016). She is the winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award, the Perugia Prize, the May Swenson Award, and the Washington Prize. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She has taught numerous workshops on the poetry of grief and trauma. She is also a classical pianist.