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Weekly Poem: ‘The Fact of the Matter’

By Sally Keith

Industry sprang up.
Orange flowers surrounded the metallic poles.
The statue was a painted hawk with outstretched wings.
Sun beams spread out on wall-sized panes.
Two knights in armor were shown on the door.
People believed in me when I opened my coat.
An origami cat.
The poem a great gray wall.
The wall the softest kind of sheet.
Cosmos clustered in the median strip.
Soft pink slowed the city’s strong wind.
The cosmos’ stems shone electric green.
Elsewhere out flew a couple of cranes.
A beautiful boy into the velvet curtains pressed.
The stage barest black.
The hills behind it backlit, gold-rimmed.
A woman steps out and opens her hand.
Why do you weep? I ask.
She only unfurls her fingers to offer some seed.
She only bends her knees.
The world is the same. The world is the same.
The long green reeds will remain.
The wind inside is softly carving its name.

Sally Keith is the author of three collections of poetry: “The Fact of the Matter” (2012, Milkweed Editions); “Design,” winner of the 2000 Colorado Prize for Poetry; and “Dwelling Song,” winner of the University of Georgia’s Contemporary Poetry Series competition. She teaches at George Mason University and lives in Washington, D.C.

Watch Sally Keith read her poem “Providence” here.

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