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A lilt is more than a gentle inflection-
it’s a cello’s first note echoing against stone.
It’s a sound that brushes your wrist like a whisper
you mistake for a feather, only nothing is there.
It’s a mockingbird’s song stitching up the night.
Lilt is the name of the woman you want to be—
someone who pumps her feet like a child on a swing set
and laughs and laughs and laughs into the sky.
She’s too old for playgrounds, but she doesn’t care.
Lilt is what you seek in the mirror when you feel
yourself falter. Your whole body stutters. You turn away.
Copyright 2022 Shannon K. Winston
Shannon K. Winston is the author of the poetry collection The Girl Who Talked to Paintings (Glass Lyre Press, 2021).