The Nereids

by Joyce Sutphen
In the British Museum, I stand 
in front of the three headless Nerieds,
remembering what you said.  I am 
going ahead of you into the day.

I imagine doing something famous
to get myself on the news, but I don't
touch the Nerieds; I don't try to liberate
the one on the far right who walks on

the remnants of her wings.  I simply stand
on one leg (sketching, I was about to say)
trying to capture the wind in their robes,
trying to feel it blowing through my hair

and through the big room that seems changed 
from a minute ago when the floor was not 
crashing with waves and I was not 
hauled into the light falling from the wall.

 2008 by Joyce Sutphen. All rights reserved.

Joyce Sutphen has spent an inordinate amount of time in the British Museum, and when she last checked, the Nerieds were still blowing in the wind. She is proud to be one of the editors of To Sing Along the Way (An anthology of Minnesota Women Poets), and her poems have recently appeared in The Kean Review and The Gettysburg Review.