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Maybe

by Myrna Stone

Who first spoke you, word
of ambiguity and whimsy?

You are loathe to commit,
the very soul of supposition

while escaping our tongues.
From you mayhap, mayhem,

the buzz of be and the tonic
of illusion that untethers us

from our own lurid histories
of befuddlement and failure.

And if we are your infatuates,
gullible and fractious, finding
farce and foolery irresistible,
we are likewise your abettors

plucking petals from daisies,
your idlers, dreamers, lovers

who never fail to hear in you,
huckster, your whiff of hope.

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Myrna Stone is the author of four full-length books of poetry: In the Present Tense: Portraits of My Father, a Finalist for the 2014 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Casanova Chronicles, a Finalist for the 2011 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; How Else to Love the World; and The Art of Loss, for which she received the 2001 Ohio Poet of the Year Award. She is the recipient of two Ohio Arts Council Fellowships in Poetry, a Full Fellowship to Vermont Studio Center, the 2002 Poetry Award from Weber–The Contemporary West, and has had her work nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poems have been featured on both Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, and have appeared in such journals as Poetry, Ploughshares, Boston Review, TriQuarterly, The Massachusetts Review, Nimrod, and River Styx. Her work has also appeared in nine anthologies, including Flora Poetica: The Chatto Book of Botanical Verse; I Have My Own Song For It: Modern Poems of Ohio; and Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude. Stone is a founding member of The Greenville Poets, based in Greenville, Ohio, where she lives with her husband in an 18th century Rhode Island farmhouse.