January, 2003

Inspired by an art installation created by Chicago artist Cat Chow

This is not the beginning of another year,
lost circle of an Aztec calendar. Its concentric
rings the lines that predict the future.

This is not the evolution of a glassmaker’s
vision, tempered by searing flames and a man’s breath.
One eye permanently lost for the sake of beauty.

This is not a whorled shell of black
and white–created by an ocean’s relentless
wave and an invisible creature’s abandoned home.

This is not your daughter’s ruffled skirt
hanging in the closet after the senior dance
forgotten glimpse of her past life.

This is not the spiraled maze of a labyrinth,
the silver thread of myth leading to safety
where there is only the ever present present.

This is not the open eye of the camera
blank stare of nothing, aperture of emptiness
whose gaze always freezes every gesture.

This is merely the constant song of repetition
that remembers its beginning but never its end.
A song that each heart echoes in its silent chamber.

Linda Nemec Foster is the author of eight collections of poetry including Living in the Fire Nest (finalist for the Poet’s Prize), Amber Necklace from Gdansk (finalist for the Ohio Book Award in Poetry), and Listen to the Landscape (short-listed for the Michigan Notable Book Award). Her poems have also appeared in such journals as The Georgia Review, Nimrod, The North American Review, and New American Writing. From 2003-2005, Foster served as the first poet laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her new book, Talking Diamonds, will be published in the fall of 2009 by New Issues Press. She founded the Contemporary Writers Series at Aquinas College and is currently a member of the Series’ programming committee.