poems by Susan Snively

A Woman Holding a Balance

Second Glance

Spencer Tracy


A Woman Holding a Balance

I have let in just enough light
to show my eyes what my hands do.
It falls on coins, on pearls,
a ray that reaches into the deep
where a laden wreck rocks.
On these things that have come to night
I let my sigh abide
and pick up the scales,
weighing the little I get.
When the sun comes up strong,
busy with query and preparedness,
the scales will tilt and chatter
with the work of the world.
Waiting is the portion I measure,
to sort the indifference and the rage
from the secret of joy.

From THE UNDERTOW (University Press of Florida, 1997)