This poem is taken from Stand 218, 16(2) May - June 2018.

Stephanie Conybeare Four Poems

My animals vanished.
I was five at the time. In the night
they departed on painted paws and wooden hooves,
padding, prancing, dancing off the dresser
to go where?

They were never found.
There were searches: behind the dresser,
under the bed, in the wardrobe, outside the window.
I told the truth, said I saw them leave, but only now
do I know

where they went:
it was the ark inside me,

I keep people there too,
my departed mother, dead friends, also many
I know intimately but have never met, from other centuries,
other worlds, lives variously shaped
and ended.
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