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Working in Metal

By Alice Friman Poetry

Bernheim Forest Today’s forest floor, a terrazzo of copper leaf. The remaining scrub also copper: copper breath, penny breath, too faint to call it rustling. The mother trees of summer— those iron lungs—streamed oxygen from paps that swayed sweet rock-a-byes in green blouses. But now all is brittle air. Underfoot snap and crack. And all…

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At Land’s End

By Alice Friman Poetry

Cape Breton Facing the east was the cliff dropping sixty feet to the sea: a rock- face frozen in the slow-motion act of falling. A shirred schist. A Parkinson’s of stone—sheer and delicate as a chiton carved by a Greek. Sweeping back from the cliff, a slope of steep green. Empty but for a spattering…

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The Key

By Alice Friman Poetry

The thing about nature is it doesn’t need coaching. Fire flares true, first strike out of a match. Infant waterfalls sing like experts. Acorns squeeze out oaks, each leaf a born breather. Even Darwin’s mutations. Paragons. Every one a prima donna, a first fiddle. _____________So is it not strange— child of nature that I am—to…

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Enormous Holdings

By Alice Friman Poetry

All this day: a gift of abstraction. The trees sway with it, murmuring box this up, this fifth day of this fifth month, as if to say, You’ll need it when you’re gaping like a fish for kindness, for this day gave you emptiness and the permission to feed yourself by choosing not to fill…

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Making Cents

By Alice Friman Poetry

The anvil prints tails. The hammer, heads. Thirty tons of pressure, and a blank copper disk gets Lincoln and the memorial in one bang. Six billion a year, cut out, stamped, and dumped like Danae’s love shower into a tub. Dearer to make than to own, yet we don’t bother to pick one up let…

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