Kneeler She saw selectively—flaws in her skin, sagging thighs that bulked impressively over her knees. Her wooden kneeler clanked coldly, down for prayers, up for hymns. She sang in her sleep, waved an arm rhythmically, smiled, sighed. When she had breath, she breathed without thinking, thinking instead of thrushes in grottos of ferns, water moving beside them, songs plaintive, repeated, hawthorns unnamed except by the specialist, butterflies captured and held in her hands. She saw bits of blue wander through clover. Cars thrashed by. She didn’t believe in luck though she knew she was lucky. She knelt on the floor, on beach sand by water, on dark soil and the shining street.
Barbara Daniels’s Talk to the Lioness was published by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press in 2020. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. Barbara Daniels received a 2020 fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.