Two Poems by Cheryl Snell

Nonets for a Bad Day

A woman rises from her big chair
to unlock the French doors. She comes
close enough to trace the fist-
prints embedded in glass,
and the wall; she stops
counting. This is
how the world
wears her
The wind’s
whistle says
she’s to blame─
but, why should it
matter, precisely,
which clothes she was wearing
the moment she threw open
those French doors and allowed the storm
to push her only good chair over?



An intrigue of cats glares at a cowardice
of curs, and then lofts a skulk of fox
into the night sky. This was the canvas
across which the ancients etched
crashes of rhinos amid conspiracies of ravens.
An eagle still wheels above its aerie.

How can a sky so shredded with stars hold up
two worlds at once? We ask it to connect the dots,
to come up with reasons, but the light flickers
as if threatening to wipe out the past
in favor of new beginnings.

Cassiopeia. Andromeda. Perseus. We look
upward to see where we’ve been; then down
at shadows long enough for light to follow.


Cheryl Snell’s books include poetry published by Finishing Line Press, Pudding House Press, Moria Books, and others. Her novel, Kalpavriksha, the final volume in her Bombay Trilogy, is out now, as is her psychological novel, Standard of Care.