︎ DEC 6, 2021
I rolled it. Ribboned it. Hung on it
a small leaf shaped from clear green glass.
It held my words for the universe.
I had to hide it, of course.
A one-eyed girl cannot travel easily
through a world where her power is known.
My grandmother had always warned me:
Look once. Look twice. Then seven times more.
I tilted a hat low against my brow.
I carried nothing that suggested journey.
Between where my breasts were beginning to swell
the parchment hugged me, glowing.
Katharyn Howd Machan’s most recent publications are A Slow Bottle of Wine (The Comstock Writers, Inc., 2020) and What the Piper Promised (Alexandria Quarterly Press, 2018), both winners in national chapbook competitions. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies, and textbooks, including The Bedford Introduction to Literature and Sound and Sense. A professor in the Writing Department at Ithaca College in central New York State, she served as Tompkins County’s first poet laureate.