She woke up on the edge

of a lake surrounded by pianos

even though she wanted violins,

how she loved to hear their sad strings

accompanied the dying trees.                    

                          When she saw her reflection

in the water, her body looked to be an entrance

and she wanted to dive into herself. But she couldn’t

remember where she left her strength. Somewhere

with her keys? On the messy nightstand

of a deer?  She started tidying the forest, raking the fallen

leaves with her fingernails, sweeping the dust

of the bunnies, putting the pinecones in the arms

of a willow.                    

                          What’s in her body is a burden and maybe

she’s weeping as she steps over a cliff where a nest

of swallows tells her to see her wounds as flowers.    

The world wants its metaphors. Like suicides,

pianos rest at the bottom of the lake, deliberate

departures, untuned, dilapidated bodies

of songs once played.

KELLI RUSSELL AGODON is the cofounder of Two Sylvias Press where she works as an editor and book cover designer. Her most recent book, Hourglass Museum, was a finalist for the Washington State Book Awards and shortlisted for the Julie Suk Poetry Prize. Her second book, Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room was the winner of the Foreword Indies Book of the Year for poetry and was also a finalist for the Washington State Book Awards. She has received awards from the Poetry Society of America, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation, James Hearst Poetry Prize, Artist Trust, and the Puffin Foundation. She coauthored The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice, with poet Martha Silano and is the Co-Director of Poets on the Coast. She lives in a sleepy seaside community where she's an avid paddleboarder and hiker.