Exile from the Kingdom of Ordinary Sight

by Leslie Williams


A new tinge is on her eye. Or call it a rind, like the covering
of a washed cheese containing the reek of it. A hollow glare
from stone-eyed gargoyles or dull glint of disused silverware.
In the famine when God provided bread they called it manna,
which means What is it? Each day arriving with the dew: gray
light, gray air, gray everything. The orange cooler on her
stoop (to receive the medicine or a daily meal) the only square
of color.




Leslie Williams’ book, Success of the Seed Plants, won the Bellday Prize. She’s received the Robert Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America and grants from the Illinois Arts Council and Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her poems have appeared in Image, The Christian Century, Shenandoah, Poetry, and many other magazines.