graceful in motion, dancing free in this life.
Buy tickets for any train, bus, plane or cab.
So much to hear, do, think and see in this life.
Speak with body and voice, flowing hands—
you don’t always have to agree in this life.
Lay burdens down on altars, by lakes,
places to which you can flee in this life.
Eyes to the heavens, fingers to the sky,
hands up to feel the glee in this life.
All numbers on the scale act shady—
not everyone’s size three in this life.
Beads and bracelets, bridges and bayous.
Don’t have to be one she in this life.
A book, a pen, a solemn afternoon.
Savor your cups of green tea in this life.
Poems should be courted like a bride.
Get down on one knee in this life.
Come up for air beneath the glamour;
listen for your own plea in this life.
Every taste and flavor, every grain—
so glad you’ve come to me in this life.
Allison Joseph lives, writes, and teaches in Carbondale, Illinois, where she is part of the creative writing faculty at Southern Illinois University. She serves as editor and poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review, moderator of the Creative Writers Opportunities List, and director of the Young Writers Workshop, a summer writers’ workshop for teen writers.
Her books and chapbooks include What Keeps Us Here (Ampersand Press), Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon University Press), In Every Seam (University of Pittsburgh), Wordly Pleasures (Word Tech), Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon UP), Voice: Poems (Mayapple Press), My Father's Kites (Steel Toe Books), Trace Particles (Backbone Press), Little Epiphanies (Imaginary Friend Press), Mercurial (Mayapple Press), Multitudes (forthcoming, Word Tech Communications), The Purpose of Hands (forthcoming, Glass Lyre Press), and Mortal Rewards (forthcoming, White Violet Press).