7 Work

by Lisa Harris

Where to begin? When she was 17, ten plus seven, in the 7th month
on the 7th day, she flew on a 747 above one of the 7 seas to one of the 7 continents.
At first, she did not notice patterns in what she saw as an endless life. But
she noticed frieze patterns in tile work on mosques—long lines of repeats–
patterns in clouds, and patterns in short words and short
lines in a telegram that called her home. She saw reflections, cross wise
in the thick window glass. Clouds made glide patterns and half-turns.

She is the 7th daughter of the 7th daughter, but there is no blues song written
for her, no wailing man singing, no magic granted her when she throws dice
or asks for grace. She arrives too late to say goodbye. She cares and she does not care.
She knows how to walk 7 directions in beauty—north, east, south, west, up, down
and center—where she wants to dwell—beneath a turquoise sky, light footed
on red parched clay. She carries a candle before her, a stag walks behind her,
and raven wings fly out to her sides—balancing, balancing.

It has taken far more than 7 days to create herself, and she is still not finished.
She has merged the 7 rainbow colors into black, and in this 7th year,
she listens for the arrival of locusts. She hears pounding and counts
cycles of 7, as if notes in a measure with an odd key signature, her irregular heart.
Raven hops, spin hops, jumps, sidles, steps, spin jumps and spin sidles,
practicing his 7 moves in a revolving pattern. What is spiritual symmetry?
What does it smell like—and the taste, would she need more salt?

She sleeps 7 hours, or is it 7 years, or 70? She has participated in 7 sins and lived,
Was lost and found 7000 times, dead and reborn. When has she lived 7 virtues?
Once she was faithful to herself; once she was prudent; once she had courage;
once she was just; once she gave herself to herself. She can be humble; and
she understands that symmetry is evanescent,
a sheen of sweat that appears on her brow in beaded rows when she labors.
Hope, crimson and translucent, flows like blood in her veins.

From “Counting: In Pursuit of a Common Wholeness,” a collection in progress.


Category: Poetry, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing