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After She Hears the News

by Kim Baker

After she hears the news
she asks first for lilac
so they can cosset each other in sassafras shawls
sit zazen in the orange marmalade sun
chant the dialectic dialects of chickadee and wren

After she hears the news
she makes amends with maple
forgives its fickle green leaves that leave her for red
while they hum their love in bee-speak
jitterbug twigs prancing like whirlybirds germinating

After she hears the news
she slips on her gingersnap socks and lets loose a dance
of rain and shooting stars and strawberry merriment
laughs a brash cackle of catkin so no one will weep
willows and birches and oaks of hopelessness

After she hears the news
she caws and yips and twitters
with crows and coyotes and squirrels
sings them a song of their glorious stories
then lies down near the bend in the river and listens

Photograph by Kim Baker

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Kim Baker

When she isn't teaching the abundant virtues of the comma at Roger Williams University School of Law, writing poetry about big hair and Elvis, and doing the Cha Cha, Kim Baker works to end violence against women.

Kim's poems have been published online and in print and essays broadcast on NPR. Three short plays have been stage-read at Culture*Park in New Bedford.

Kim's first chapbook of poetry, Under the Influence: Musings about Poems and Paintings, is now available from Finishing Line Press.

Kim is currently working on a book of ekphrasis poems about the stories and portrayals of women in the paintings of female artists. Kim can be reached at