Emily Dickinson’s Fly

The fly tickling my
ear is the last of its kind,
everybody says.

It keeps returning
to my ear. It doesn’t buzz.
Maybe it’s dying.

It visits other
tables but returns to my ear.
People look away.

Until it moves I
can’t tell that it’s on my ear.
Everybody sees.

So this may be why
Emily Dickinson stayed
at home with her fly.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at tom.develyn@comcast.net. D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at http://tdevelyn.com and other sites.

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