by Jo Walton
She does not see you, your uncertainty,
hesitating on her threshold.
She does not see the room you see—
light leaking round cheap drapes,
reflecting you both,
as if you stood together,
peering beneath its surface.
She does not even see the cards
as she lays them out before you
with weary polite precision.
She does not recall the question
you struggled to ask her
through the choking ghost of incense,
the expectation of deception.
She stares at the threads of pattern
stretched on the looming future
and the darkness of your eyes is her lamp.
About the Author:
Jo Walton is the author of six science fiction and
fantasy novels, with a seventh, Half a Crown due
out from Tor in September. She has published poems in
earlier editions of Lone Star Stories, and in
Asimov's, Goblin Fruit and various
anthologies. A collection of her poetry will be
published by NESFA Press in February 2009. She lives in
Poem © 2008 Jo Walton.