Chris Roberts-Antieau  © 2008 All Rights Reserved

In the Shadow of a Doubt

Love, despite poets, is not always glowing, or eternal, sometimes it is as short as the
height of a season.

The lady with the marcel wave and the black silk shawl sang for wine, and because her
heart was a plum, and ripe in her chest.

There is a peephole, in which the viewer encounters a rat looking at him from the other

Just before the dance begins, the musicians demand impossible compensation.

Love indeed has not prospered in the past, and I donít know if there is an extra coin in
your pocket.

The children all hold hands as they cross the busy street.

He loves me or he loves me not, or not in the way that I desire: not the way the night
sky loves the frosty moon.

All the best darlings were tales told in books.

You might, for example, feel yourself to be a newly caught songbird in a copper wire

Did you believe it would always be delight leading on the narrow mountain path to

The stain of berries on the sidewalk, and the black flies angry and drunk on the juices.

If every love is that kind of love, a spider and a fly, the meal must (the napkin folded,
the fork set down) the meal must in time be over, a wing, a crumb, one drop of blood.

The paving stones themselves have no use for doubt, yet for me it is the mortar that
keeps my hopes in their rough places.


Robert McDonald
Copyright © 2008


Robert McDonald's work has appeared most recently in Juked, Wandering Army, Columbia Poetry Review, and Fifth Wednesday. He lives in Chicago, where he works in an independent bookstore and writes the occasional theater review.

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