Dream Grown Soft as Steel

Robin Turner

I move through a marketplace vast
as daylight, three knives in my open

hands like an offering—startling,
cool to the touch, unfamiliar

as a new lover’s body. I pass easily by
rows of strappy little summer sandals, turn

my gaze from the gypsy earrings’ glint,
the lipstick in three shades of danger,

of dependable just-right red. My hair
is greying. My legs still strong. My eyes

grown soft as steel. It’s the knives I want,
the knives I keep. I have nowhere to hide

them. No beaded purse. No basket of willow.
No secret sheath against the heat of my hip.

My fingers curl closed, each blade
a breath, each sharpened edge

gleaming, black-handled,

Robin Turner is the author of bindweed & crow poison (Porkbelly Press). A Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has most recently appeared in Juniper, Foliate Oak, Whale Road Review, and SWWIM. She is a teaching artist in Dallas, Texas, and an online writing guide for teens.

Return to Contents