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Easy as a girl spreading her bright legs,
Smiling and beckoning. Or peeling an orange
With your thumbnail unleashing
A hundred sensory suns. Getting out
Of bed half awake to the autonomy
Of morning ritual. When all else fails
Praying as if you might be special
As God’s sparrow or the bloody heart
That Huitzilpochtli wants.

Easy exists in the contempt of hard.
The woman who won’t take your calls.
The orchard of overabundance.
The bed where you sleep alone.

Take it easy, you say when you don’t
Want to revisit a conversation,
When all you want is to escape
To a difficult book, a poem that jangles
The keys to a series of doors.



* * * * * *

Joan Colby’s books include Selected Poems [FutureCycle Press], Dead Horses [FutureCycle Press], The Lonely Hearts Killers [Spoon River Poetry Press], The Atrocity Book [Lynx House Press], How The Sky Begins to Fall [Spoon River Poetry Press], The Boundary Waters [Damascus Road Press], Blue Woman Dancing in the Nerve [Alembic Press], Dream Tree [Jump River Press], Chagall Poems [Seven Deadly Sins Press], Beheading the Children [Ommation Press], and Eleven Poems [Interim Press]. 

Her work has been widely published in journals including Poetry, Atlanta Review, GSU Review, Portland Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, Mid-American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Kansas Quarterly, The Hollins Critic, Minnesota Review, Western Humanities Review, College English, Another Chicago Magazine and others. 

Her many awards include an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature, the Illinois Arts Council Literary Award, Stone County Award for Poetry, Rhino Poetry Award, and the new renaissance Award for Poetry. Her chapbook, Bittersweet, is forthcoming in 2014 from Main Street Rag. 

For over 25 years, Joan Colby has been the editor of Illinois Racing News, a monthly publication for the Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation, published by Midwest Outdoors LLC.  She lives with her husband and assorted animals on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois.

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