The Voices

Let your mind wander freely
among the bric a brac of childhood.
In some nook you may discover
a fragment, possibly porcelain,
the head of a doll once treasured,
its eyes still open like yours
in the middle of the night.

Disembodied voices float over
your crib,
sisters whispering to each other
in order not to wake you.
But you are not asleep.
In the dark they cannot tell.

You have heard them all your life,
though you have never deciphered
what they are saying—
perhaps some prophecy
that is already true.

Maxine Cassin
from her book Against the Clock
Portals Press, 2003

Used with permission of the poet’s estate.

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