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MUSED Literary Magazine.

Note To A New Friend

Phibby Venable

If I seem overwhelmed and the house is playing at formidable
Come anyway -- ignore the nervousness, the uncertain glances
I have been inside too long -- If you knock, and I do not answer,
enter casually, and call the dogs by name
Everything here remains unlocked, it is all magnificently casual
Except for my eyes - frantic with trying to find the keys
that may eventually reveal a charming self
I have been still too long - I have held my breath in the water
of fishes, dried tears that came from unfounded and founded fears
I have tended the intimidating, fenced with loneliness
Glanced each morning from an open doorway
on all sorts of weather -- waved at brilliant cardinals for company
Come here, I am gracious when cornered, talkative when I see
I am the only available escort toward conversation
Come here as though you are welcome, as though you often lounge
in the comfortable chairs here, and sing in the red maple and sun
If I am odd, if I have grown stoic and unsure of invitations and arrivals,
it is simply the deer in my heart that stands startled by new sounds.