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“She Consults the Shovel”


This fanciful poem is based on my recent visit to an art museum. The “she” is not autobiographical. This poem benefits from the feedback of my local first readers JG and JH.



It hangs from the museum ceiling
above a painted white square, its silent
field of snow — long and black like a pendulum
waiting in a game for the gentle push
of a Yes-or-No question. She begins with
an easy one: Will the westerly winds
pick up force tomorrow? The steady handle
doesn’t answer, but she feels a sudden chill
and rubs both slender hands together,
discovering near her shortest lifeline
a new pale blister on the rise.
in thirteen years pitches him
backward, twisted hips
recoiling at the
by Therese L. Broderick
of the floor. For two
seconds he holds ground,
NOTE: This poem was inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s sculpture
In Advance of the Broken Arm (1945 replica of lost 1915 original)
Yale University Art Gallery
June 2010
at the red salmon lifted
on our forks.
by Therese L. Broderick

About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

One response »

  1. A lot happening in these spare lines…I love how packed this is.


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