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Bandit

December 9, 2011

by Andrea O’Brien

A chef plates my supper—berries, fish,
spring greens—with the precision of a surgeon.
The meal might be my last, or the dish

might save my life. Her julienne
carrots stitch old wounds closed. Her poached pear
is a salve for skin I didn’t know was burned.

I lick the fork tines clean, declared
healed at the hands of one robed in white
(almost doctor, almost angel). Who is prepared

for such sustenance? Stars spooned like sugar light
my way home. Fatted, supernova-full, I want to make
the night last. Pleading to get it just right—

right amount of salt, right kneading—I bake
a loaf, a life, dough rising from yeast.
Who is prepared? Dusted in flour, I break

bread under the star-clotted sky, pitching pieces
into the field where a raccoon feasts.


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Andrea O’Brien’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in various publications, including The Hopkins Review, Connecticut Review, Nimrod International Journal, and The New York Quarterly. In 2007, the Kentucky Foundation for Women awarded Andrea an Artist Enrichment grant to begin writing her second collection of poems. She lives in Denver with her husband and works as a writer and editor.

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  1. December 10, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Hooray for Andrea, my favorite metaphysical poet! It’s an exquisite poem.

  2. Mary F. Soulis
    December 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Lovely, lovely, lovely!

  3. david cazden
    December 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Very nice Andrea !! I love the raccoon

  4. Scriptor Obscura
    December 10, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    This is beautiful! What a wonderful poem!

  5. Andrea
    December 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Thank you, all! I am so honored I could share this poem through the Worship issue.

  6. December 15, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Wonderful piece on so many levels.

  7. January 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Beautiful poem, Andrea. Congratulations.

  1. January 29, 2012 at 7:09 am
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